Bilateral obstruction of the vertebral arteries in a three-year-old child

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1977 Apr;19(2):232-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1977.tb07974.x.


A three-year-old boy developed gait instability, nausea, vomiting, cranial nerve disturbances, hypotonus and dysarthria. Angiography of the four main cranial arteries showed complete obstruction of both vertebral arteries at the level of C1 to C2. Abundant collateral circulation was observed, which by-passed the obstruction to the vertebral arteries before their enterance into the posterior cranial fossa. The left vertebral artery was hypoplastic and both internal carotid arteries showed coiling in their extracranial portions. A high erythrocyte sedimentation rate at the beginning of the disease suggests an inflammatory alteration of both dysplastic vertebral arteries. The child recovered completely one month after the onset of symptoms. All other reported cases of childhood vertebro-basilar obstruction are reviewed and it is emphasized that the site of arterial obstruction has an important bearing on the clinical outcome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Vertebral Artery* / diagnostic imaging