basilar artery occlusion
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary We have investigated 6,972 patients with directional continuous-wave Doppler sonography within the last three and a half years, and have derived criteria for the sonographic diagnosis of basilar artery occlusion or tight stenosis in conjunction with 1,071 retrograde brachial angiograms. By sonographic patterns, we have suspected obstruction of the basilar artery or of both distal vertebral arteries in nine cases. Either bilateral sonographic silence or the absence of a diastolic flow component of the vertebral arteries served as criteria in the sonographic evaluation. Angiography of the vertebro-basilar system, performed in eight cases, showed near or complete occlusion in the distal vertebrals or in the proximal basilar artery. Degrees of stenosis less than an 80 percent reduction in lumen diameter could not be detected sonographically. Two further basilar artery occlusions were detected by means of angiography despite negative Doppler sonography: one of these patients showed an extensive collateral circulation between the posterior inferior and the superior cerebellar arteries, and one patient had an occlusion only of the middle and rostral thirds of the basilar artery, the proximal third and the anterior inferior cerebellar arteries being widely patent. Thus, we believe that directional CW Doppler sonography is very useful in the diagnosis of near or complete occlusion of both distal vertebral arteries or of the proximal basilar artery.
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