Vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders
Vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders are conditions in which blood supply to the back of the brain is disrupted.
Vertebrobasilar insufficiency; Posterior circulation ischemia; Beauty parlor syndrome; TIA - vertebrobasilar insufficiency; Dizziness - vertebrobasilar insufficiency; Vertigo - vertebrobasilar insufficiency
Two vertebral arteries join to form the basilar artery. These are the main blood vessels that provide blood flow to the back of the brain.
The areas in the back of the brain that receive blood from these arteries are needed to keep a person alive. These areas control breathing, heart rate, swallowing, vision, movement, and posture or balance. All of the nervous system signals that connect the brain to the rest of the body pass through the back of the brain.
Many different conditions may reduce or stop blood flow in the back part of the brain. The most common risk factors are smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a high cholesterol level. These are similar to the risk factors for any stroke.
Other causes include:
Common symptoms may include:
Other symptoms may include:
Exams and Tests
You may have the following tests, depending on the cause:
Vertebrobasilar symptoms that start suddenly are a medical emergency that need to be treated right away. Treatment is similar to that for stroke.
To treat and prevent the condition, your health care provider may recommend:
The outlook depends on:
Each person has a different recovery time and need for long-term care. Problems with moving, thinking, and talking often improve in the first weeks or months. Some people will keep improving for months or years.
Complications of vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders are stroke and its complications. These include:
Complications caused by medicines or surgery may also occur.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call 911 or your local emergency number, or get to the emergency room if you have any symptoms of a vertebrobasilar circulatory disorder.
Correia PN, Meyer IA, Eskandari A, Michel P. Beauty parlor stroke revisited: an 11-year single-center consecutive series. Int J Stroke. 2016;11(3):356-360. PMID: 26763920 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26763920.
Kernan WN, Ovbiagele B, Black HR, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(7):2160-2236. PMID: 24788967 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24788967.
Kim JS, Caplan LR. Vertebrobasilar disease. In: Grotta JC, Albers GW, Broderick JP, et al, eds. Stroke: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 26.
Review Date: 7/29/2018
Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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