Techniques for Reconstruction of the Vertebral Artery
The lesion most commonly affecting the vertebral artery (VA) is a plaque stenosing its takeoff from the subclavian artery. This lesion alone is responsible for approximately 70% of all VA reconstructions. In its intraspinal course the VA is affected by atherosclerosis and by other entities; however, from C2 up to the atlanto-occipital membrane, where the artery becomes intradural, the artery is usually spared from disease. The correction of compression or occlusion of the VA in its intraspinal course is done by accessing the distal vertebral artery at the C2-C1 intervertebral space. This segment of the artery, as mentioned above, is seldom involved by disease and is the widest gap between any of the transverse processes. This permits the surgeon to work in the distal VA with relative ease. Very rarely, usually in the course of repairing an aneurysm, will the VA have to be dissected above the transverse process of C1 in its horizontal portion below the occipital bone.
KeywordsVertebral Artery Common Carotid Artery Subclavian Artery Transverse Process Distal Versus
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