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The role of vertebral and internal carotid artery disease in the pathogenesis of vertebrobasilar transient ischemic attacks

  • A. Delcker
  • H. C. Diener
  • D. Timmann
  • P. Faustmann
Original Articles

Summary

Color-coded duplex sonography has improved the evaluation of the hemodynamics of the vertebral arteries (VA). A reliable differentiation between a normal vessel, hypoplasia, stenosis and occlusion of VA can now be made. We studied two groups of patients in a prospective study with isolated carotid artery disease (n=48), and with a combination of carotid and vertebral artery disease (n=14), to determine the role of VA in the pathogenesis of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) in the vertebrobasilar system. Apart from the existing arteriosclerotic changes of the internal carotid arteries, the condition of the VA was of importance for the occurrence of TIAs in the vertebrobasilar territory. We found that 8% of the patients with isolated hemodynamically relevant stenosis or occlusion of one or both internal carotid arteries had a TIA in the vertebrobasilar territory. Patients with combined carotid and vertebral artery disease had an increase of TIAs in the same region in 71%. The high rate of TIAs in this group might be attributed to the combined effect of carotid and vertebral artery disease, as a third group (n=30) with isolated vertebral artery disease showed TIAs in only 13%.

Key words

Color-coded duplex sonography Carotid artery disease Vertebral artery disease Vertebrobasilar transient ischemic attacks 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Delcker
    • 1
  • H. C. Diener
    • 1
  • D. Timmann
    • 1
  • P. Faustmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of EssenEssenFederal Republic of Germany

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