OBJECTIVE: The increased use of bypass surgery in the treatment of ischemic cerebrovascular diseases requires a better understanding of the superficial temporal artery (STA) anatomy. This study is to describe the gross anatomy of STA in adult Korean population with respect to cranial surgery and to provide basic anatomic data for bypass surgery. METHODS: The study evaluated retrospectively 35 patients who visited the neurosurgery department at a single institution. For each patient, both the left and right STA (70 vessels) were evaluated by a 3-dimensional computed tomographic angiogramfor diameter and anatomic relationships to external landmarks. RESULTS: Of 70 STAs, 69 had a bifurcation. Among these, 57 (82.6%) were above the superior margin of the zygomatic arch. The STA bifurcation was 53.2 +/- 5.9 mm posterior to the keyhole, 9.5 +/- 5.3 mm anterior to the posterior margin of condylar process of the mandible, and 21.7 +/- 15.8 mm superior to the superior margin of the zygomatic arch. The inner diameter of the STA was 1.8 +/- 0.5 mm at the superior margin of the zygomatic arch, and 1.4 +/- 0.4 mm and 1.4 +/- 0.5 mm for frontal and parietal branches, respectively. The 75.7% of frontal and 66.7% of parietal branches were suitable for microvascular anastomosis. CONCLUSION: This present study demonstrated the STA in Korean adults, which may benefit the clinician in dealing with the surgical procedures related to this STA.