superior cerebellar artery (SCA)

The superior cerebellar artery (SCA) arises from the distal basilar artery, just below the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) and typically supplies:

Unlike the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) and posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) the SCA is rarely absent. It is frequently duplicated:

  • unilateral duplication: 28%
  • bilateral duplication: 8%
  • triplication: 2%

The upper branch, when multiple, may arise from the PCA and usually supplies the vermis, whereas the lower branch supplies the hemisphere.


  • anterior pontine (or prepontine) segment
  • ambient segment
  • quadrigeminal segment
    • located in the lateral portion of the quadrigeminal cistern
    • approaches the contralateral SCA near the midline
  • Branches

    • perforating branches
      • pons
      • midbrain
      • inferior colliculus
    • lateral (marginal) branch
      • largest branch of the SCA
      • usually arises from the ambient segment
      • runs posteriorly in the region of the interhemispheric fissure
      • gives off hemispheric branches that course superiorly over the superior cerebellar hemisphere
    • hemispheric branches
      • arise from the lateral (marginal) branch and from the SCA distal to the origin of the lateral branch also from the ambient segment
      • supplies dentate nucleus
      • superior vermis
      • medial quadrigeminal lobule
      • superior semilunar lobule
    • superior vermian
      • terminal branch(es) of the SCA
      • anastomose with inferior vermian branches of the PICA
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