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Module 5 - Ischemia in Vertebral-Basilar Territory


  • List 4 common problems that patients might experience during TIAs produced by ischemia in vertebral-basilar territory.
  • List 5 important signs and symptoms that may be seen after infarction of the dorsolateral region of the rostral medulla and relate each to damage in a specific neuroanatomic structure.
  • Describe the memory problem commonly produced by bilateral PCA occlusion.

Clinical Applications and Reasoning

  • Explain why bilateral signs can be produced by a unilateral lesion in the brainstem.
  • Explain how (and where) a 'pure motor stroke' can be produced by occlusion of a vertebral-basilar branch.
  • Compare and contrast the patterns of clinical findings seen after bilateral occlusion of all cortical PCA branches vs. occlusion of only those branches supplying the primary visual cortex.
  • Explain why macular sparing is a variable finding following PCA branch occlusion.

Clinical Applications to Patient Education

  • Develop points that you could use in explaining to a patient how they might personally experience a TIA produced by temporary occlusion of vertebral-basilar branches.