Folia morphologica

Intracranial region of the vertebral artery: morphometric study in the context of clinical usefulness.

PMID 28281722


The aim of this study was to analyse the morphometry of the intracranial segment of the vertebral artery in the context of clinical usefulness. The results were compared with published data available in full-text archived medical journals. More than 100 digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and 3-dimensional (3D) angio-computed tomography (CT) examinations were used to measure the following parameters: the whole and partial length of V4 in characteristic anatomical points, the diameter in three places (on the level of foramen magnum, in point of exit to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, and in the vertebro-basilar junction), the angle of connection to the vertebral arteries, and all anatomical variations including fenestration, duplication, dolichoectasia or absent artery. The left V4 section was predominant over the right artery, which is manifested by length, width, cases of ectasia and fewer cases of hypoplasia. The incidences of V4 ectasia were identified more often than those documented in the accessible literature, and they were found in the natural location of formation of saccular aneurysms. The presented knowledge of anatomical variation and abnormali-ties of vertebral circulation can improve the accuracy and "safety" of the surgical procedures in this region, help to determine the range of surgical approach and avoid associated complications. The radiological examinations using 3D CT, DSA reveal unlimited observation of anatomical structures in contrast to studies based on cadavers, and can complement the morphometry in anatomical preparations.