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Vertebrobasilar insufficiency; Posterior circulation ischemia
Vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders are conditions in which blood supply to the back of the brain is disrupted.
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:
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.
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Biller J, Love BB, Schneck MJ. Vascular Diseases of the Nervous System. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:chap 55.
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