The insular part (M2 segment) of the middle cerebral artery extends anteriorly on the insula, this segment in known as the insular segment. It is also known as the Sylvian segment when the opercular segments are included. The MCA branches may bifurcate or sometimes trifurcate into trunks in this segment which then extend into branches that terminate towards the cortex. When they bifurcate, they are denominated in the Terminologia anatomica as:

  • Inferior terminal branches (Inferior cortical branches; M2 segment): branches supplying the cortex of the temporal lobe (three temporal branches (anterior, middle, posterior), branch to the angular gyrus, two parietal branches (anterior, posterior)
  • Superior terminal branches; Superior cortical branches; M2 segment: branches supplying the cortex of the frontal and parietal lobes as well as the central region (lateral frontobasal artery, prefrontal sulcal artery, pre-Rolandic (precentral) and Rolandic (central) sulcal arteries)


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