Vertebral  Artery

The vertebral artery travels through the bones in the neck and supplies circulation to the back part of the brain and brain-stem.

Blockage Affects:

The effects of vertebral artery occlusion are variable:

  • Vertebral artery occlusion may be asymptomatic because of the compensatory effects of the opposite artery.
  • Vertebral artery occlusion may result in basilar artery occlusion since the vertebral arteries are often unequal in size and one is more critical to vertebro-basilar flow.
  • Vertebral artery occlusion may present solely as a posterior inferior cerebella artery stroke since this is the only vessel solely dependent upon it.
  • Stenosis of the subclavian or innominate artery before the take off of the vertebral artery may present as a subclavian steal syndrome.
  • The vertebral artery may act as a source of embolus due to intimal damage caused by the spinal vertebrae along it's course

Dissection of the wall of the vertebral artery, leading to the formation of an aneurysm that may occlude the vessel. Thrombus formation may occur and give rise to emboli. Cervical fractures or related neck injuries and craniocerebral trauma are commonly associated conditions, although this process may occur spontaneously. Ischemia, infarction, and hemorrhage in the vascular distribution of the affected vertebral artery may complicate this condition.



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