Vertebrobasilar insufficiency

How to timely identify and cure vertebrobasilar insufficiency

A chronic disease in which the functions of the brain are impaired due to a deterioration in the blood supply in the arteries (vertebral, basilar) is called vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI), the symptoms of which are noticeable quite early. The disease develops very quickly.

Symptoms of the disease

At the initial stage of the disease, the patient complains of:

  • pressing pain in the occipital region;
  • severe dizziness;
  • pain in the neck.

In the future, the syndrome becomes more pronounced and symptoms such as:

  • loss of consciousness;
  • numbness of the limbs;
  • problems with the musculoskeletal system;
  • disorientation in time/space;
  • the appearance of hallucinations;
  • hearing and speech disorders;
  • paresthesia of the neck and face.

Syndrome of vertebrobasilar insufficiency

In the absence of timely treatment, progression of the syndrome of vertebrobasilar disease is observed. It becomes chronic with less pronounced symptoms. Over time, they intensify, which leads to more serious consequences:

  • mild dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • flushes of heat;
  • slight clouding of consciousness;
  • causeless mood swings;
  • dull pain in the back of the head;
  • memory impairment;
  • general weakness of the whole organism;
  • increased sweating;
  • tachycardia;
  • sore throat.


Congenital VBN can develop due to the presence of pathologies, injuries and abnormalities during pregnancy and childbirth. This:

  • fetal hypoxia;
  • multiple pregnancy;
  • premature delivery;
  • other situations that led to a violation of the integrity of the vessels in the fetus.

The acquired form of VBN occurs due to diseases and pathologies that worsen the processes of blood supply and circulation, or lead to a change in the structure of blood vessels.

The etiological factors of acquired VBI include:

  • squeezing the hypertrophied scalene muscle of the subclavian artery;
  • trauma to the cervical spine;
  • thrombosis of the vertebral/main artery;
  • atherosclerosis of the blood supplying vessels of the brain;
  • stratification of the inner wall of the vertebro -basilar vessels;
  • diabetes;
  • hypertension, arterial hypertension syndrome;
  • inflammatory diseases of the walls of blood vessels (vasculitis, nonspecific aortoarteritis , arthritis, angiitis , etc.);
  • congenital vascular anomalies;
  • Stovin syndrome .


Diagnosis of VBN is complicated by the fact that similar symptoms are observed in other problems with cerebral circulation. The correct diagnosis is possible only with a thorough history taking and a thorough instrumental and physical examination.

If the patient has three or more characteristic symptoms, and the presence of pathologies in the vessels of the vertebrobasilar system (VBS) is confirmed and the etiological factor of the disease is detected, he is diagnosed with VBN. The causes of the disease are identified by the following methods:

  1. MR angiography, CT angiography

radiopaque substance is injected into the arteries that supply blood to the brain . Its presence allows you to determine the diameter of the vessels and the condition of their inner walls.

With the help of MR angiography, the state of the vascular bed of the brain is determined without the use of contrast agents.

  1. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT)

These two diagnostic methods make it possible to identify many structural lesions of the spine and its spinal cord, intervertebral hernias, osteochondrosis, and spondylarthrosis. But these methods alone are not enough to study the state of the IBS arteries.

  1. Dopplerography (ultrasound) of the main vessels of the neck and head

This study allows you to assess the speed of blood flow in the vertebrobasilar vessels, as well as to identify occlusions and obstructions in them .

  1. Laboratory blood test

Laboratory blood tests (general, biochemical) are necessary to detect changes in blood properties that indicate atherosclerosis, inflammation, diabetes mellitus and other pathologies.


Treatment of VBI is aimed at eliminating the cause that caused it. It allows you to restore blood flow, fill the blood vessels of the brain, eliminate local hypoxia and ischemia.

  • physiotherapy. With VBN, exercises are shown that do not include sudden movements. Regular performance of the complex can improve posture, remove muscle spasms, strengthen the muscular corset of the spine;
  • therapeutic massage . Promotes vasodilation, which improves blood circulation;
  • physiotherapy . Apply percutaneous electroneurostimulation , magnetotherapy, ultraphonophoresis , laser therapy;
  • reflexology. Allows you to eliminate pain and extinguish the excitation of some nerve brain centers;
  • kinesio taping . Effectively eliminates muscle spasms, infringement of blood vessels. The method is considered pseudoscientific because it is not scientifically proven.


This method is used only in extreme cases with severe VBI. Surgical intervention makes it possible to eliminate circulatory failure resulting from a reduced diameter of the vertebral artery caused by stenosis, compression or spasm.

With VBN, the following typical operations are shown:

  • endarterectomy ;
  • microdiscectomy ;
  • angioplasty of the vertebral artery with the installation of a stent ;
  • laser reconstruction of intervertebral discs.



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