BACKGROUND: Reviewing the literature on vertebral artery flow during cervical rotation shows various results. Furthermore, most studies have investigated exclusively the effects of contralateral rotation employing less-than-optimal Doppler ultrasound technique.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to use the latest advancement in Doppler ultrasound technology to investigate flow velocity in the vertebral artery during both ipsilateral and contralateral cervical rotation in normal subjects.
DESIGN AND SETTING: A prospective, controlled study in a university hospital vascular laboratory.
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty healthy university students.
RESULTS: Peak flow velocity decreased significantly during contralateral rotation and increased significantly during ipsilateral rotation. The differences, however, were modest. We found no correlation between peak flow velocity and systolic blood pressure.
CONCLUSION: With modern Doppler ultrasound technique, preventing some sources of error in measuring, our finding during contralateral rotation were in accordance with most previous studies showing a decrease in peak flow velocity. For the first time, however, we report an increased flow velocity in the vertebral artery during ipsilateral rotation.
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