Leptomeningeal collateral circulation

The term leptomeningeal refers to the two deep layers of the meninges - the pia mater and the arachnoid mater. The leptomeningeal collateral circulation is a network of blood vessels supplying the brain that follows a diffuse course over the superficial surface of the brain.

Leptomeningeal Collateral Circulation and Cerebrovascular Accidents

If the middle cerebral artery is occluded during a CVA (or stroke), there is dramatic loss of blood flow to the area of the brain supplied by this artery (the lateral surfaces of the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes, including the primary motor and sensory cortexes). [Neuroanatomy: An Illustrated Color Text. 3rd Edition. Crossman & Neary. Published by Elsevier.] The leptomeningeal collateral circulation allows a very limited degree of compensation for this. However, this mild compensatory affect is nowhere near adequate - a CVA is a very serious medical emergency.

ee also

The Circle of Willis, the major arterial blood supply to the brain

References


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