Neurology Book


Vertebral Artery Dissection

Aka: Vertebral Artery Dissection, Vertebral Dissection, Vertebrobasilar Dissection
  1. See Also
    1. Cervical Artery Dissection
    2. Cerebrovascular Accident of Vertebral Artery
    3. Vertebral Artery Injury in Blunt Neck Trauma
    4. Carotid Artery Dissection
  2. Epidemiology
    1. Incidence: 1 to 1.5 per 100,000
    2. Cerebroarterial Dissections (Carotid Artery and Vertebral Artery) are uncommon (<2%) causes of Ischemic CVA
    3. Age
      1. Younger patients account for up to 25% of Vertebral Dissection related Ischemic CVA
      2. Peak Incidence age 50-60 years
    4. Gender
      1. Women are affected at a younger age than men
  3. Pathophysiology
    1. Vertebral Artery Dissection most commonly occurs with compression at one of two foramina
      1. Cervical foramen at C1-2
      2. Transverse foramen at C5-6
    2. Vertebral Artery media tear (middle muscular, arterial layer) allowing blood intrusion into arterial wall
      1. Resulting intramural thrombus occludes vessel with risk of CVA
  4. Causes
    1. See Cervical Artery Dissection
  5. Types
    1. Ischemic Vertebral Artery Dissection
      1. Resulting cerebral ischemia or infarction
      2. Many dissections heal spontaneously and occluded vessels may be compensated by opposite Vertebral Artery
    2. Rupture of Intradural Vertebral Artery dissecting aneurysm (hemorrhagic)
      1. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
      2. Unstable with high risk of recurrent bleeding (70% of cases, most within first week, and mortality 47%)
  6. Findings
    1. Extracranial Vertebral Artery Dissection (primarily at C1-2)
      1. Occipitocervical region severe pain
        1. Unilateral Neck Pain and Headache
      2. Vertebrobasilar Ischemia or Infarction Symptom
        1. Dizziness
        2. Vertigo
        3. Diplopia
        4. Ataxia
        5. Dysarthria
      3. Vertebrobasilar Infarction
        1. Cerebellar infarction
        2. Spinal Cord Infarction
          1. See Spinal Cord Syndrome
        3. Wallenberg Syndrome (lateral Medullary ischemia)
          1. Dysmetria, Ataxia and ipsilateral Hemiplegia
    2. Intracranial Vertebral Artery Dissection
      1. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in 50% of cases
      2. High rebleeding rate, poor prognosis, high mortality
      3. Responsible for up to 10% of non-Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
      4. May be minor in some cases
  7. Imaging
    1. MR Angiogram
      1. Has largely replaced CT Angiogram as gold standard, with similar efficacy
    2. CT Angiogram
      1. As with MRA, CT angiogram has high Test Sensitivity
  8. Prognosis
    1. Extracranial Vertebral Artery Dissection
      1. No deficit 50%
      2. Mild deficit 21%
      3. Moderate to severe deficit 25%
      4. Mortality 4%
    2. Intracranial Vertebral Artery Dissection
      1. Associated with severe neurologic deficits
  9. Management
    1. Anticoagulation (unless contraindicated, e.g. Hemorrhage)
      1. Intravenous Heparin, then
      2. Oral Anticoagulant
    2. Surgical interventions
      1. Endovascular procedures
      2. Vascular or Neurosurgery
  10. References
    1. Hussein and Leiman (2022) Crit Dec Emerg Med 36(8): 4-8
    2. Park (2008) J Korean Neurosurg Soc 44:109-15 [PubMed]

Vertebral Artery Dissection (C0338586)

Definition (MSH) Splitting of the vessel wall in the VERTEBRAL ARTERY. Interstitial hemorrhage into the media of the vessel wall can lead to occlusion of the vertebral artery, aneurysm formation, or THROMBOEMBOLISM. Vertebral artery dissection is often associated with TRAUMA and injuries to the head-neck region but can occur spontaneously.
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D020217
ICD9 443.24
ICD10 I77.74
SnomedCT 230730001
Swedish Vertebralisdissektion
Czech arteria vertebralis - disekce, arteria vertebralis - disekující aneurysma, Disekce vertebrální arterie
Finnish Nikamavaltimon dissekoituminen
English dissection of vertebral artery (diagnosis), dissection of vertebral artery, Dissecting Vertebral Artery Aneurysm, Artery Dissection, Vertebral, Artery Dissections, Vertebral, Dissection, Vertebral Artery, Dissections, Vertebral Artery, Vertebral Artery Dissection, Vertebral Artery Dissections, Dissect vertebral artery, Dissection of vertebral artery, Vertebral Artery Dissection [Disease/Finding], vertebral dissection artery, vertebral artery dissection, Vertebral artery dissection, Vertebral artery dissection (disorder)
French Dissection artérielle vertébrale, Dissection de l'artère vertébrale, Anévrisme disséquant de l'artère vertébrale, Anévrysme disséquant de l'artère vertébrale, Dissection d'artère vertébrale, Dissection vertébrale
Polish Rozwarstwienie tętnicy kręgowej
Japanese 解離-椎骨動脈, 椎骨動脈解離, ツイコツドウミャクカイリ, 動脈解離-椎骨動脈, 椎骨動脈瘤解離, 解離性椎骨動脈瘤
Spanish Disección de arteria vertebral, disección de arteria vertebral (trastorno), disección de arteria vertebral, Aneurisma Disecante de la Arteria Vertebral, Disección de la Arteria Vertebral
Portuguese Dissecção de artéria vertebral, Dissecção da Artéria Vertebral, Aneurisma Dissecante da Artéria Vertebral, Dissecação da Artéria Vertebral
Dutch halsslagaderdissectie, Dissectie van arteria-vertebralisaneurysma, Dissectie, vertebralis-, Vertebralisdissectie
German Dissektion der Arteria vertebralis, A. vertebralis-Dissektion, Dissezierendes Aneurysma der A. vertebralis
Hungarian Arteria vertebralis dissectio
Norwegian Disseksjon av vertebralisarterieaneurisme, Vertebralisarteriedisseksjon, Disseksjon av vertebralisarterien
Italian Dissezione dell'arteria vertebrale
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

You are currently viewing the original '\legacy' version of this website. Internet Explorer 8.0 and older will automatically be redirected to this legacy version.

If you are using a modern web browser, you may instead navigate to the newer desktop version of fpnotebook. Another, mobile version is also available which should function on both newer and older web browsers.

Please Contact Me as you run across problems with any of these versions on the website.

Navigation Tree