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Retrospective Cohort Angiographic Analysis of Vertebral Artery Dominance, Stenosis Patterns, and Demographic Correlations.

BACKGROUND: Differences in dominance and stenosis in the complex vertebral artery (VA) network pose challenges in diagnosing and treating cerebrovascular diseases crucial for brain nutrition. This research examines these intricacies, highlighting the importance of detailed diagnosis and treatment methods.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the prevalence of the dominant VA, evaluate the influence of gender and age on steno-occlusion, and explore the correlation between the dominant VA and stenosed VA segments.

METHODS: A retrospective study of 249 angiograms from patients with VA stenosed at King Abdullah University Hospital between August 2019 and December 2022. The patients presenting symptoms of vertigo, migraines, headaches, or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) were included, 182 cases were classified based on VA dominance and stenosis severity. The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS 27.

RESULTS: Out of the 182 participants, 64.8% were male, with an average age of 61.3 years and 35.2% were female. The prevalence of stenosis was distributed as follows: 26.4% mild, 44.0% moderate, and 29.7% severe. Statistically significant correlations were observed between hypertension, smoking, hyperlipidemia, and the degree of stenosis (p < 0.05), but not with diabetes. The prevalence of left vertebral artery (VA) dominance was found to be 41.1%. Additionally, there was no gender connection observed in the distribution of steno-occlusion (p = 0.434). There is no notable correlation between the degree of stenosis and the dominant vertebral artery (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Angiographic findings reveal the complex relationship between the dominance of the VA, patterns of stenosis, and demographic factors. Individuals with a dominant VA had a greater likelihood of developing stenosis on the opposite non-dominant side. The high occurrence of severe stenosis highlights the need for tailored diagnostic and treatment approaches. Understanding vertebral stenosis as a multifaceted interaction of demographic, lifestyle, and anatomical variables is essential for enhancing treatment strategies.

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