The clinical importance of the inferolateral trunk of the internal carotid artery

H. Capo, M. J. Kupersmith, A. Berenstein, I. S. Choi, G. A. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The inferolateral trunk (ILT) of the internal carotid artery (ICA) is a branch that arises inferiorly from the C4 segment of the cavernous ICA. It provides blood supply to the 3rd, 4th, and 6th cranial nerves, as well as to the gasserian ganglion. The ILT anastomoses to branches of the internal maxillary artery, providing collateral circulation between the external carotid artery and the ICA systems. Retinal and cerebral emboli can arise from the external carotid artery system and travel via the ILT to the ICA. Cranial nerve palsies may result after occlusion of the ILT. We present the cases of four patients who had iatrogenic neurological dysfunction subsequent to intravascular procedures that involved the ILT. These cases provide further clinical confirmation of the importance of this blood vessel. A 5th case involving iatrogenic occlusion of the ILT and no neurological deficit is also presented, demonstrating that the ILT is not the sole blood supply of the cranial nerves in the cavernous sinus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-738
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebrovascular anatomy
  • Collateral circulation
  • Cranial nerves
  • Endovascular embolization
  • Internal carotid artery
  • Interventional neuroradiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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