A Closer Look at the Vertebral Arteries

Cerebral aneurysms and posterior circulation strokes are also serious and potentially fatal diseases caused by abnormal or variant vertebral arteries. Furthermore, occlusion of the subclavian artery induces antegrade and retrograde flow (subclavian steal syndrome). The first two diseases are caused by abnormalities of the vertebral artery, while the third disease, subclavian steal syndrome, is caused by occulsion of the subclavian artery. As a result, when conducting diagnostic and interventional angiography for cardiac, cardiothoracic, head, neck, and anterior cervical surgery, a detailed understanding of vertebral artery abnormalities is important. As a result, this chapter discusses the various types of vertebral arteries and their configurations.

The vertebral arteries are one of the main arteries that irrigate the brain, especially the spinal cord, medulla, and a portion of the cerebellum. On either side of the spine, there are two vertebral arteries. At the root of the neck, each vertebral artery sprouts from the postero-superior aspect of the first part of the bilateral subclavian artery. These have a long path and meet up with their counterpart at the lower border of the pons to form basilar artery in the cranial cavity. Their classes are broken down into four parts. Extracranial segments are the first three, and intracranial segments are the last. Aside from the subclavian artery, left vertebral arteries have been reported to arise from the aortic arch between the left common carotid artery and the left subclavian artery or lateral to it, as well as from a common trunk formed by the left subclavian and left vertebral arteries, but the right vertebral artery has been reported to arise from the thyrocervical trunk, the brachiocephalic trunk, the common Agenesis, hypoplasia, stenosis, and asymmetry of these arteries can occur in addition to these variations. In addition to iatrogenic complications, agenesis, hypoplasia, asymmetry, and stenosis of the vertebral arteries may cause cerebral aneurysm and posterior circulation stroke. As a result, understanding the vertebral artery is critical in avoiding misdiagnosis and mismanagement of diseases affecting the vertebral arteries.

The aim of this chapter is to provide a clear picture of normal vertebral arteries, as well as descriptions of variations and irregularities, in order to diagnose these diseases using imaging (ultrasound, angiography, or MRI) in conjunction with signs and symptoms. This chapter vividly describes the common and variant anatomy of vertebral arteries.

Author (s) Details

Dr. Rajani Singh
Department of Anatomy, UPUMS Saifai, Etawah 206130, India.

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