Neurology Expert Forum
Vertebral Blockage
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Vertebral Blockage

I'm a 45 year old male.  I've had several heart attacks in the past 10 years, A single vessel bypass operation 5 years ago to relieve a 99% ostial stenosis in the left anterior descending artery.  In the past several years I have had two stents placed in mid left circumflex.

During a recent artiogram cath check up, my cardiologist informed me that I have a 25% blockage of the left vertebral artery.  He informed me that would eventually have to be stented as well.  I'm confused as to what a vertebral blockage is, how quickly I do I need to have something done.  Can this be controlled by medication or will it have to be stented as well.

Thank you for your help.
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Avatar_n_tn
There are 4 blood vessels which carry blood to the brain. These are the two carotid arteries and the two vetebral arteries. The vertebral arteries travel along the spine and enter the base of the skull. After entering the base of the skull they join together and form the basilar artery. A 25% blockage would not need to be treated with a stent unless you were having symptoms related to strokes caused by this blockage. You most likely need to be on an anti-platlet agent (prevents clotting), such as aspirin or plavix. Control of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes would be recommended. Also, you should stop smoking (if you do). Before having any stenting procedure on one of the blood vessels going to the brain, I would recommend a consult with a neurologist specializing in stroke. Good luck.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Wrong forum; this is the neurology forum.
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Avatar_n_tn
I understand that this is the neurology form.  I've been referred to a neurologist for this matter.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 55 years old.  I had 2 strokes this past June resulting from a dissection of my right vertebral artery that effected my cerebellum.  A stent has been mentioned as a remote possibility for me by my treating neurologist.  He said stenting in this area is relatively new and stroke risks from the procedure are possible.  In any case, this seems to be a neurosurgery and cardiovascular question.  I believe that his implication was that neurosurgeons are doing some of these procedures as well as cardiovascular surgeons.  I would appreciate a comment from your Neurology Department as well.  Thank you.

Incidentally, I got to web site to search for information on Doctors Nissan and Topol's JAMA 2001 article on Vioxx's possibly doubling the risk of stroke.  I had been on Vioxx for almost a year prior to the strokes.
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Avatar_n_tn
Chuck, you mentioned that you had 2 strokes this past June as well as being prescribed VIOXX for the past year.  As you are likely aware, VIOXX has been recalled and there are several class actions filed agains the manufacturers.  I would be please to provide you with further inforamtion if you would like to contact me at ***@****.
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, closed vertebral artery was started.
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