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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,632
ORIGINAL ARTICLES VASCULAR SECTION
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2002 December;43(6):887-90
The circle of Willis in healthy older persons
Macchi C. 1, Molino Lova R. 1, Miniati B. 1, Gulisano M. 2, Pratesi C. 3, Conti A. A. 1,4, Gensini G. F. 1,4
1 Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Don Gnocchi Foundation, Florence, Italy
2 Department of Human Anatomy and Histology,
3 Department of Vascular Surgery,
4 Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiology, University of Florence, Italy
Background. The current indication for carotid surgery is based upon the percentage of stenosis of the internal carotid artery. This approach shows many limitations, one of which is to presume the anatomical completeness of the circle of Willis in all patients who are evaluated. On the contrary, there is increasing evidence of a great natural variability in the configuration of the circle of Willis.
Methods. The aim of the present paper was to investigate, by magnetic resonance angiography, the variability of the circle of Willis in a cohort of 118 healthy older persons.
Results. The circle of Willis showed an entirely complete configuration in 47% of the subjects, a complete configuration of its anterior part in 90% of the subjects, and a complete configuration of its posterior part in 48.5% of the subjects.
Conclusions. These findings confirm the great variability of the circle of Willis even in healthy older persons and suggest that, in indicating carotid surgery, the configuration of the circle of Willis should also be taken into account.