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July 1959

Ocular Manifestations of Occlusive Disease of the Vertebral-Basilar Arterial System

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
Fellow in Ophthalmology, Mayo Foundation (Dr. Minor); Section of Ophthalmology (Dr. Kearns); Section of Neurology (Drs. Millikan and Siekert), and Section of Pathologic Anatomy (Dr. Sayre), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;62(1):84-96. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.04220010088010

Ocular symptoms and signs occur frequently in occlusive disease of the vertebralbasilar arterial system. Now that treatment has been improved and has been found useful in selected cases, careful studies and exact diagnoses assume more than academic interest in the management of cerebrovascular disease. Ocular symptoms develop in a number of patients with insufficiency within this vascular system as the initial or primary manifestation of their disease. Therefore, the ophthalmologist must be thoroughly familiar with this vascular disorder.

In previous publications,19,25 the term "syndrome of intermittent insufficiency of the basilar arterial system" was introduced. As used in the present report, "insufficiency of the vertebral-basilar arterial system" is a clinical diagnosis made on the basis of recurrent transient episodes of focal neurologic impairment resulting from periods of inadequate blood flow through the vertebral, basilar, and posterior cerebral arteries and their branches. The symptoms include various combinations of dizziness, vertigo, blurred

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