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Quantification of the Human Cerebrovasculature: A 7Tesla and 320-Row CT In Vivo Study

Nowinski, Wieslaw Lucjan PhD, DSc*; Puspitasari, Fiftarina BEng*; Volkau, Ihar PhD*; Orrison, William W. Jr MD, MBA; Knopp, Michael V. MD, PhD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography:
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182765906

Objective: Human cerebrovasculature has not been quantified in volume, length, and vascular-brain relationships. We investigated this using imaging.

Methods: From 0.5-mm3 7T and 320-row CT acquisitions, 6 arterial and 4 venous systems were reconstructed, measured, and analyzed.

Results: The ratio of the volume of arterial to venous system is approximately 1:3. The ratio of the volume of dural sinuses to vasculature is 1:2. The ratio of the posterior (PCA) to anterior (ACA) to middle cerebral artery (MCA) is 1:2:4 in volume and length. Ratios of left to right vessels are 1:1 for arteries and veins. Ratios of branching frequency for the ACA, MCA, and PCA are 1:1:1. The branching frequency ratio for superficial to deep veins is 1:2. The MCA occupies 1/2 of arterial length and 1/4 of vascular length. The ratio of the length of superficial to deep veins is 1:1 and each is equal to 1/4 of the vascular length. The ratio of cerebrovasculature to brain volume is 2.5%.

Conclusions: Despite its enormous complexity, cerebrovasculature is characterized by 4 approximate proportions, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, and their combinations, 1:1:1 and 1:2:4.

Author Information

From the *Biomedical Imaging Lab, Agency for Science Technology and Research, Singapore; †Nevada Imaging Centers, Las Vegas, Nevada; and ‡Department of Radiology, The Ohio State University, Wright Center of Innovation, Columbus, OH.

Received for publication May 17, 2012; accepted August 2, 2012.

Reprints: Wieslaw L. Nowinski, DSc, PhD, Biomedical Imaging Lab, Agency for Science Technology and Research, 30 Biopolis St, #07-01 Matrix, Singapore 138671 (e-mail:

This work was funded by Biomedical Research Council, ASTAR, Singapore.

The authors do not have conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.