Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(10):1039-1048. doi:10.7150/ijms.8566 This issue
Department of Neurosurgery, Jilin University First Hospital, Changchun 130021, China.
* Yong-Jie Yuan and Kan Xu contributed equally to the work.
Vertebrobasilar dolichoectasia (VBD) is a rare disease characterized by significant expansion, elongation, and tortuosity of the vertebrobasilar arteries. Current data regarding VBD are very limited. Here we systematically review VBD incidence, etiology, characteristics, clinical manifestations, treatment strategies, and prognosis. The exact incidence rate of VBD remains unclear, but is estimated to be 1.3% of the population. The occurrence of VBD is thought to be due to the cooperation of multiple factors, including congenital factors, infections and immune status, and degenerative diseases. The VBD clinical manifestations are complex with ischemic stroke as the most common, followed by progressive compression of cranial nerves and the brain stem, cerebral hemorrhage, and hydrocephalus. Treatment of VBD remains difficult. Currently, there are no precise and effective treatments, and available treatments mainly target the complications of VBD. With the development of stent technology, however, it may become an effective treatment for VBD.
Keywords: vertebrobasilar dolichoectasia, etiology, clinical manifestations, imaging, treatment strategies.