Vascular myelopathy (vascular disease of the spinal cord) refers to an abnormality of the spinal cord in regard to its blood supply. The blood supply is complicated and supplied by two major vessel groups: the posterior spinal arteries and the anterior spinal arteries—of which the Artery of Adamkiewicz is the largest. Both the posterior and anterior spinal arteries run the entire length of the spinal cord and receive anastomotic (conjoined) vessels in many places. The anterior spinal artery has a less efficient supply of blood and is therefore more susceptible to vascular disease. Whilst atherosclerosis of spinal arteries is rare, necrosis (death of tissue) in the anterior artery can be caused by disease in vessels originating from the segmental arteries such as atheroma (arterial wall swelling) or aortic dissection (a tear in the aorta).