Vertebrolbasilar Artery Function test is a cervical spine examination procedure that tests for vertebrobasilar ischaemia. It is an assessment tool to test the vertebral artery blood flow to diagnose vertebral artery disease.


Patient should be awake and cooperative to perform the Vertebbrolbasilar Artery Function test.

  1. Patient should be seated with eyes open.
  2. The examiner checks for carotid or subclavian pulsations.
  3. The examiner auscultates for bruits.
  4. The examiner bilaterally palpates the head as she rotates and extends the head.

The examiner observes for pulsations, bruits and palpates the head bilaterally.


Positive Vertebrolbasilar Artery Function test

A positive Vertebrolbasilar Artery Function test is the presence of pulsations, bruits, pre-syncope, vertigo, nystagmus and/or nausea. These signs could indicate VBI.

Clinical Notes

The third part of the test should only be performed if no pulsations are observed and no bruits are noted during auscultation.