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Vertebrobasilar insufficiency; Posterior circulation ischemia
Sudden onset of vertebrobasilar symptoms is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. For treatment information, see:
Treatment options may include:
There is no good surgical treatment for patients who have narrowing of the vertebrobasilar arteries.
The outlook depends in part on the underlying cause. Strokes are potentially life threatening, and require urgent medical care. Age and the person's overall health are taken into consideration when determining one's outlook for recovery. A substantial recovery can be expected in younger patients who have no significant medical problems.
Recovery also depends on the area of the brain that has been affected. The outlook is very poor when the patient is in a coma or cannot move both arms and legs.
Complications of vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders are stroke and its complications. The complications of stroke include:
Patients may have vision loss in one eye.
Complications caused by medications or surgery may also occur.
Call 911 or your local emergency number, or get to the emergency room if you have any symptoms that may suggest a vertebrobasilar circulatory disorder.
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Adams RJ, Albers G, Alberts MJ, Benavente O, Furie K, Goldstein LB, et al. Update to the AHA/ASA recommendations for the prevention of stroke in patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack. Stroke. 2008 May;39(5):1647-52. Epub 2008 Mar 5.
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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