Anatomical variations of the vertebral artery in a Zambian indigenous adult population undergoing computerised tomography angiography at the University Teaching Hospitals Lusaka, Zambia

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Mutalife, Fridah
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The University of Zambia
Vertebral artery is an important source of blood supply to the brain. VA variations have a documented incidence ranging between 0.2% to 6.7 % in studies done using autopsy and angiograms in different countries. These variations increase the risks of aneurysms, dissections and leads to vertebrobasilar ischaemia and posterior circulation stroke. Knowledge of variations of the great vessels of the neck is important for endovascular interventionists and diagnostic radiologists, more so in the era of stent placement in the carotid and vertebral arteries and new therapeutic options for intracranial interventions. This study aims to investigate VA variations in a black Zambian population and determine presence of vascular abnormalities. A cross-section study was conducted to evaluate 42 Computer Tomography Angiography with various reasons. A data collection form was used to capture information and variations while analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.0. Mean and standard deviation were used to describe the variables. The age ranged from 18 and 81 with mean age of (42.5±) of these 21 were females and 21 males. Of the 42 CTA examined, 11 had abnormalities of which 7 were females and 4 males. Since the VA is paired, each will be described individually. Therefore 84 arteries were examined for any variations and it was found that 16 (19.05%) vessels presented with some unusual features and 68(80.95%) were normal. 81(96.4%) VAs had a normal origin from the subclavian artery while 3 (3.6%) left VA originated from the aortic arch. On variations2 (2.4%) right VAs had fenestrations, 10 (11.9%) VAs had dual origin both right and left sided and 1 (1.2%) left VA was hypoplastic. The study found that there are variations in the vertebral artery in our country and duplication is more prevalent. Therefore, further studies should be done to determine whether there is an association between the variations and development of cerebrovascular disorders. Key words vertebral artery, duplication, fenestrations and hypoplasia
Vertebral artery--Duplication--Zambia , Arteries , Vertebral artery--Surgery--Zambia