Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The two vertebral arteries (VAs) are usually unequal in size; the left one is generally larger than the right one. It was hypothesized that the asymmetry results from the need of the dominant cerebral hemisphere for more glucose and oxygen, i.e. more blood supply. In this study, we aimed to test this hypothesis in patients by evaluating their arterial diameter and hand preference, as it is the most common criterion to determine the dominance of the hemisphere. Materials and methods: The study was performed with 844 participants who consented to participate in the study. We identified the dominant cerebral hemisphere by asking participants about their hand preference. Then we measured both the VA diameter and VA flow volume by Doppler ultrasonography. After demonstrating the asymmetry, correlation was tested. Results: Among 844 participants included in the study, the mean diameter of the right VA was 3.14 ± 0.35 mm and that of the left VA was 3.41 ± 0.54 mm, while the mean flow volume of the right VA was 119.21 ± 44.98 mL/min and that of the left VA was 151.45 ± 57.26 mL/min. It was recorded that 771 (86.43%) participants were right-handed and 73 (8.18%) were left-handed.Conclusion: No significant relationship was found between the increased blood demand of the dominant cerebral hemisphere and the vertebral artery dominance.


Cerebral dominance, vertebral arteries, handedness, Doppler ultrasonography

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