We assessed the prevalence of vertebral artery (VA) stenosis or occlusion and its influence on outcome in patients with acute basilar artery occlusion (BAO). We studied 141 patients with acute BAO enrolled in the Basilar Artery International Cooperation Study (BASICS) registry of whom baseline CT angiography (CTA) of the intracranial VAs was available. In 72 patients an additional CTA of the extracranial VAs was available. Adjusted risk ratios (aRRs) for death and poor outcome, defined as a modified Rankin Scale score =4, were calculated with Poisson regression in relation to VA occlusion, VA occlusion or stenosis =50 %, and bilateral VA occlusion. Sixty-six of 141 (47 %) patients had uni- or bilateral intracranial VA occlusion or stenosis =50 %. Of the 72 patients with intra- and extracranial CTA, 46 (64 %) had uni- or bilateral VA occlusion or stenosis =50 % and 9 (12 %) had bilateral VA occlusion. Overall, VA occlusion or stenosis =50 % was not associated with the risk of poor outcome. Patients with intra- and extracranial CTA and bilateral VA occlusion had a higher risk of poor outcome than patients without bilateral VA occlusion (aRR, 1.23; 95 % CI 1.02-1.50). The risk of death did not depend on the presence of unilateral or bilateral VA occlusion or stenosis =50 %. In conclusion, in patients with acute BAO, unilateral VA occlusion or stenosis =50 % is frequent, but not associated with an increased risk of poor outcome or death. Patients with BAO and bilateral VA occlusion have a slightly increased risk of poor outcome.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00415-014-7583-5
View details for Web of Science ID 000349889200018
View details for PubMedID 25417970