Objective: Vertebral artery hypoplasia (VAH) is an uncommon embryonic variation of posterior (vertebrobasilar) circulation. The literature reports on its incidence in general population are in the range between 2 and 10%. The aim of the paper was to analyze the frequency and association between VAH and posterior circulation stroke (PCS). Besides VAH, other risk factors responsible for PCS were examined.
Methods: The study was a prospective one, conducted at the Neurology Clinic, Clinical Center Niš. It enrolled 50 patients with the established diagnosis of PCS. The control group consisted of 40 patients without PCS. The presence of VAH was determined by performing Color-Doppler Echosonography (CDE) and proved by computed tomography angiography (CTA).
Results: Our results showed statistically significant presence of VAH in patients with PCS in comparison to the controls (38%: 10%).VAH was found to be an independent risk factor for PCS onset. The presence of VAH in the group of patients with posterior circulation stroke in relation to other patients from the experimental group without VAH is a poor prognostic parameter concerning the severity of clinical manifestation and the outcome of the disease.
Conclusion: VAH is a risk factor for posterior circulation stroke onset. Its presence in patients with posterior circulation stroke is a poor prognostic parameter significantly correlating with the severity of clinical presentation and higher mortality rate.
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