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What is stenosis of the vertebral artery, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

vertebral artery Stenosis is a dangerous syndrome resulting in disruption of the blood supply in the brain. This vessel brings to the brain about 25% of the total cerebral blood supply. As a result, when the constriction occurs hypoxia of neurons (nerve cells) and ischemic stroke.

stenosis of the vertebral artery

What is syndrome

Vertebroplasty-basilar syndrome – the so-called pathology scientific language, with timely detection and treatment is a reversible condition. ½ Narrowing of the blood vessels a person has attacks of loss of consciousness and ischemic attacks, which form the death of brain cells.

The Definition of "vertebral-main pool" in medicine appeared recently. It means the accumulation of blood vessels that bring blood to the base of the brain.

With the advent of Doppler (ultrasound examination of blood flow through the vessels) and magnetic resonance imaging there are many research works concerning this type of pathology.

Interesting facts about the syndrome of vertebral failure:

  • Vertebrobasilar pool supplies the 3 part of the brain, causing the cessation of the circulation in the cervical vessels a person loses consciousness;
  • With long-term lack of microcirculation of brain cells on vertebroplasty-basilar pool the patient has decreased vision, impaired coordination, memory and intelligence;
  • the Nature has protected the vessel from damage by placing it in the holes of the transverse processes of the cervical vertebrae. However, traumatic or degenerative displacement of the vertebrae of the cervical spine leads to narrowing of the lumen.

Obviously, the stenosis of the vertebral artery is threatening human life, as prolonged existence leads to lack of oxygen in brain tissue.

causes of development

formation of organic stenosis in atherosclerosis

stenosis of the vertebral vessels in the neck can be:

  • Functional
  • Organic.

Functional stenosis occurs in a certain position of the neck in the presence of degenerative diseases – osteoarthritis, spondylosis, ankylosing spondylitis. Blood supply disturbance in this situation appears due to the cessation of circulation in a vessel with displacement of vertebras. In functional instability of the cervical spine, there is a failure in both vertebral arteries.

Organic stenosis is formed in atherosclerosis (deposition of cholesterol plaques in the vessel lumen), tumors of the transverse processes of the vertebrae uncovertebral arthrosis (bone formation of small osteophytes in the intervertebral joints). In athletes it may be vertebrobasilar blood supply insufficiency in case of scalene muscles.


Pronounced stenosis of the vertebral artery doctors call syndrome, as it included several pathological symptoms:

  1. visual and Oculomotor disorders – accompanied by the appearance of "crawling before my eyes" visual images (photopsia), blurred vision of objects, dark spots (ciliary dysfunction);
  2. Dynamic and optic ataxia (the inability to maintain the equilibrium position of the body) is a frequent symptom of stenosis. If the patient with this pathology to ask to go in a straight line, he will not be able to do this as broken functionality of the cerebellum (the coordination center in the brain)
  3. Vestibular disorders – recurrent vertigo, nystagmus when rotation of the head, dizziness, unstable in bright light.

The Above symptoms in combination with the data of clinical and instrumental studies indicating the insufficiency of circulation in vertebrobasilar pool, is sufficient for the diagnosis of a syndrome or the spinal (vertebral) of stenosis.

20% of patients when the disease can be traced vertebrogenic syndrome. If it appears the pain and cervico-occipital paresthesia radiating to the upper extremity and thorax. Symptoms are worse when bending or turning head.

the Diagnosis of insufficiency of cerebral circulation

neuronal hypoxia stenosis of the vertebral artery

Clinical and instrumental diagnosis of the disease involves the use of the following methods:

  • Doppler Ultrasound of the cervical vessels allows using ultrasound to diagnose narrowing of the arteries
  • Angiography – contrast x-ray examination. Used in cases of suspected atherosclerotic disease or anatomical disruption of the vessel;
  • Magnetic resonance angiography – involves the scanning contrast of the arteries. This method is used to add information which is not obtainable with x-rays andUltrasound
  • Computed tomography with the introduction in the artery contrast medium allows to determine the degree of narrowing;
  • Contrast panagariya – x-ray method used for the solution of the question of surgical intervention for suspected thrombus (blood clot).

Treatment of vertebral artery syndrome

Treatment of disease is carried out by considering the causes of disease.

In functional stenosis using drugs to lower blood pressure, orthopedic correctors to limit the mobility of the cervical spine.

In the acute period of the disease a correction of blood clotting and angiokeratoma by surgery.

In practice, the neurologists made sure that all groups of patients with this pathology well help drugs neurotrophic actions and antioxidants.

What pills treat vertebrobasilar insufficiency:

  • Vinpocetine
  • Instenon;
  • Fesem;
  • Encephabol;
  • Cinnarizine
  • Emoksipin;
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Mildronate;
  • Vasobral;
  • non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Surgical techniques

What operations are used when the stenosis of the vertebral artery:

  • Endarterectomy – removal of the damaged portion of the vessel with the insertion of an artificial implant or stent
  • Arterioles or Redressal reconstructive surgery;
  • of the movable vertebrae Stabilization
  • Removal of uncovertebral osteophytes;
  • Fixation of the cervical spine (the curvature).

It is Obvious that stenosis of the cervical arteries is a severe pathology requiring medical correction. Without adequate therapy it will progress and over time will lead to ischemic stroke.