VBI/Vertebrobasilar Disease


What is Vertebrobasilar Disease

People with blockage of the main blood vessels to the back of the brain (the vertebral or basilar artery) are at risk of having strokes, which can be due to reduced blood flow to the brain. In some people with a blockage, the brain can get plenty of blood through other natural blood vessel pathways.

However, In other patients, there may not be enough blood flow. Currently, it is not known if the amount of blood flow to the brain increases or decreases the chances of a stroke in the back of the brain in people with blockages of the vertebral or basilar artery.

Risk Factors of Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency

The risk factors for cerebrovascular disease are those associated with atherosclerosis:

  • Old Age
  • Gender
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Hyperlipidemia (elevated fats in the blood)

Patients known to have atherosclerosis and diagnosed with coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease are at greater risk for vertebrobasilar disease and stroke.

Symptoms of Vertebrobasilar Disease

A person with vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI) may experience symptoms lasting for a few minutes or permanent symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Loss of vision or double vision
  • Vertigo
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination, dizziness, or confusion
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A drop attack — sudden weakness

Vertebrobasilar Disease Treatment at the University of Illinois Neurosurgery Department

Our team of neurosurgeons specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of rare and complex neurological conditions and disorders. We often treat patients who have been unable to receive the care they truly need. If you are suffering from a complex neurological condition, refer to our contact page to correspond with a member of our team about a consultation!