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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 7238672, 20 pages
Review Article

Unilateral Aplasia versus Bilateral Aplasia of the Vertebral Artery: A Review of Associated Abnormalities

1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, 81 Blvd. Dr. Zoran Djindjić, 18000 Niš, Serbia
2Health Center Niš, 15 Vojvode Tankosića St., 18000 Niš, Serbia

Correspondence should be addressed to L. Vasović;

Received 16 March 2017; Accepted 4 July 2017; Published 28 August 2017

Academic Editor: Tobias De Zordo

Copyright © 2017 L. Vasović et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Morphological characteristics of 108 cases of uni- and bilateral aplasia of the vertebral artery (VA) in reports or images of retrospective studies, including one recent case, published between 1967 and 2016 are analyzed. Incidence, gender, persistence of carotid-vertebrobasilar anastomosis (CVBA), associated with other vascular variants, and vascular pathology in each group of uni- and bilateral VA aplasia are mutually compared. Most of the cases of VA aplasia in ages 31 to 80 were discovered in USA, Japan, and India. The bilateral VA aplasia is more common in the male gender than in the female one. The side of the VA aplasia had a significant effect on the side of CVBA persistence. Associated aplasia of other arteries was more common in cases of unilateral VA aplasia. The left VA was more commonly hypoplastic in cases of single right VA aplasia than the right VA in cases of single left VA aplasia. Aneurysms of definitive arteries were more frequent in cases of single right VA aplasia than in cases of single left VA aplasia. We claim that the aplasia of the VA probably depends on genetic factors in some races, while diseases are expressed usually in persons over 30 years of age.