Superior cerebellar artery

The superior cerebellar artery delivers oxygenated blood to the superior (upper) part of the cerebellum, located behind the top of the brain stem, and some locations within the midbrain.

The artery branches off the basilar artery. This occurs just below the posterior cerebellar artery, which forms the base of the cerebral arterial circle and is centrally located in the brain. The artery goes around the cerebral peduncle and branches into smaller vessels. Laterally, the superior cerebellar artery passes the ocular nerve.

A condition called trigeminal neuralgia results from the superior cerebellar artery compressing the trigeminal nerve. Piercing pain can occur and spread across the face. This sharp or cutting pain may not necessarily be confined to the site of compression. Treatments include a range of medications. Botox injection has also been used, which, in a low dose, paralyzes the nerve.

This artery should not be confused with the superior cerebellar veins, which carry oxygen-depleted blood away from the brain, and to the heart and lungs.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Superior cerebellar artery

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