What is the prognosis of vertebrobasilar stroke?

Updated: Aug 09, 2021
  • Author: Vladimir Kaye, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Patients with acute basilar artery occlusion have a mortality rate of more than 85%. Survivors usually are left with significant neurologic deficit. For symptomatic patients who survive, the risk of recurrent stroke is 10-15%.

A study by Kim et al indicated that in patients who receive endovascular treatment for acute vertebrobasilar stroke, outcomes are worse in those whose occlusion is caused by intracranial atherosclerotic disease (IAD) rather than by embolism. The investigators found that among patients in the IAD group, the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was higher than that for the embolic group at 7 days postprocedure (21 vs 8, respectively). [51]

Looking at 3-month outcomes, another study indicated that in patients with minor posterior circulation infarction (PCI) and those with minor anterior circulation infarction, with or without large vessel disease, the risk of disability was considerably greater in patients with minor PCI who had vertebrobasilar large vessel disease. [52]

In a study by Bouslama et al, multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that in patients with acute posterior circulation stroke, good outcome after endovascular treatment is associated with smoking status, a low baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, and successful reperfusion status. [53]

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