Vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders are conditions in which blood supply to the back of the brain is disrupted.
Transient ischemic attack Stroke
Vertebrobasilar insufficiency; Posterior circulation ischemia
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The vertebrobasilar system is also called the back (posterior) circulation of the brain. This part of the brain contains structures that are crucial for keeping a person alive. For instance, the brainstem controls breathing and swallowing, among other things. Parts of the brain help with vision (occipital lobes) and movement coordination (cerebellum) are also located in the back of the brain.
Three main blood vessels provide blood flow to the back of the brain:
- One basilar artery
- Two vertebral arteries
Many different conditions may cause blood flow in the back part of the brain to be reduced or stopped. The most common cause is a
Vertebrobasilar vascular disorders may also be caused by a tear (dissection) in an artery wall. Dissection can be caused by clogged arteries or injuries such as a car accident. However, most of the time, no apparent cause of dissection can be identified.
Other less common causes of vertebrobasilar vascular disorders include connective tissue diseases and vasculitis.
Review Date: 10/04/2010
Reviewed By: Daniel Kantor, MD, Medical Director of Neurologique, Ponte Vedra, FL and President of the Florida Society of Neurology (FSN). Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.