Ectatic Basilar Artery: An Unusual Cause of Trigeminal Neuralgia

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Abstract

Elongation and tortuosity of the basilar artery is variously referred to as ectasia (Yu et al. 1982), arteriectasis (Stebhens 1972) or cirsoid (‘S’ shaped) aneurysm of the basilar artery. The last term was used to denote “an ‘S’ shaped elongation of the basilar and/or vertebral arteries with consequent lateral bulging that compresses either the fifth or eighth nerve or both”. The lateral bulging of the basilar artery is more often to the left than to the right (Dandy 1945). Basilar artery ectasia is an unusual cause of trigeminal neuralgia (Campbell and Keedy 1947; Gardner 1962) secondary to vascular compression. The case history of a patient suffering from this vascular anomaly is reviewed and the management discussed. Comparison is made with the case histories of three similarly afflicted patients.