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January 1963

The Surgical Treatment of Vertebral Artery Insufficiency: Successes and Failures

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Neurology, and Otolaryngology, Albany Medical College of Union University, Albany, New York.

Arch Surg. 1963;86(1):60-64. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310070062008

In 1952, Ford3 described the syndrome of syncope, vertigo, and disturbance of vision resulting from intermittent obstruction of the vertebral arteries. Since that time, a similar symptom complex has been reported in association with cervical arthritis,7 rotation of the head,8 arteriosclerosis,1 and extrinsic compression of the subclavian-vertebral axis.5 Two years ago we reported 28 patients with this syndrome and presented the early results of surgical treatment. The present report includes the late results of these patients and adds 108 new cases. Our initial group mentioned vertigo as their chief complaint, but many also complained of unilateral pounding headache, fainting attacks, and numbness of the arms or face. We have therefore added these latter symptoms as a diagnostic feature of this syndrome. The additional indications for consideration of the diagnosis of vertebral artery insufficiency were first noted in patients where these symptoms were associated with our

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