Seyed Mahmood Ramak Hashemi, Ramin Mahmoodi, Abbas Amirjamshidi

Surgical Neurology International 2013 4(1):65-65

Background: It is not well known whether the distributions of variations of circle of Willis (CW) are different in different populations. Previous studies have indicated: (a) The variations of the structure of the CW in different populations and ethnic and (b) some correlation between those congenital anatomical variations and possible cerebrovascular diseases. The frequency of such anatomical variations has not been evaluated sufficiently in the Iranian population. The aim of this study is to find the variations of the anatomy of the vessels in the CW in sample population of Iranian people and compare it with other available studies in the literature, providing a new grouping for variations. Methods: Samples were obtained from 200 autopsies in different ages, all retrieved in the department of Forensic Medicine, Tehran university of Medical Sciences after achieving permission from the Department of Ethics and Medico-legal Sciences. The CW was examined directly, using magnification, at the base of the brain. The cerebral vessels were observed for their configuration and their calibers were measured directly. Variations were noted and grouped into different categories. Results: Out of the 200 specimens examined, 69 (34.5%) were compatible with the typical anatomy of the CW. In the remaining 65.5% of the specimens, there were variations in the CW. Hypoplasia of the posterior communicating arteries was the most common variation in our study. One of the autopsies showed the presence of an aneurysm (0.5%). Conclusion: The anatomical variations found in our study were not significantly different from those reported in the literature. Based on the available data; (a) there is no evidence that the distribution of the variations of the anatomy of the CW is different in various societies and (b) the prevalence of the congenital aneurysmal changes in this region is not low in the Iranian population.