Rare case of bilateral vertebral artery stenosis caused by C4-5 spondylotic changes manifesting with bilateral bow hunter's syndrome

Academic Article


  • Background: Rotational vertebral artery occlusion syndrome refers to vertebrobasilar insufficiency as a result of mechanical occlusion or stenosis of the vertebral artery by head rotation. In most cases, symptoms are produced on extension or rotation to one side. No case of bow hunter's syndrome with bilateral presentation at the C4 level has yet been reported. Case Description: A 54-year-old man presented with symptomatic bilateral bow hunter's syndrome induced by head rotation. The patient complained of intermittent dizziness, episodes of double vision, nonpulsatile tinnitus, and headaches indicative of vertebral artery insufficiency with exacerbation of symptoms on rotation of his head to either side. Computed tomography angiography showed bilateral vertebral artery stenosis, and dynamic cerebral angiography revealed bilateral rotational vertebral artery occlusion, with compression of the ipsilateral vertebral artery on head rotation to either side. Bilateral surgical decompression at C4-5 with anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion with a plate was performed. Conclusions: Bony obstruction of the vertebral artery on head rotation tends to occur at levels C4 and below, affecting the ipsilateral side. In this rare case, symptomatic bilateral vertebral artery stenosis occurred as a result of bony compression and was symptomatic on head rotation both to the right and to the left. This stenosis was improved with anterior decompression bilaterally, and no further events occurred postoperatively. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • World Neurosurgery  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fleming JB; Vora TK; Harrigan MR
  • Start Page

  • 799.e1
  • End Page

  • 799.e5
  • Volume

  • 79
  • Issue

  • 5-6