Unusual vertebral artery origins: examples and related pathology

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2003 Jun;59(2):244-50. doi: 10.1002/ccd.10503.


Anomalies of the vertebral arteries are uncommon, but important to recognize in the diagnosis and catheter based evaluation and treatment of patients suffering cerebrovascular disease. This article illustrates our experience with such anomalies. These include the vertebral artery arising as the fourth and most distal branch of the aortic arch, as a right subclavian artery branch arising distal to the right thyrocervical trunk, as a right common carotid artery branch in a patient with an aberrant right subclavian artery, and a case of left vertebral artery proximal duplication, with both aortic and left subclavian vertebral arteries present in the same patient; the latter join to form a single distal cervical vertebral artery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aorta, Thoracic / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta, Thoracic / pathology
  • Carotid Artery, Common / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Common / pathology
  • Cervical Vertebrae / blood supply
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Subclavian Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Subclavian Artery / pathology
  • Vertebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebral Artery / pathology*
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / pathology