The symptoms of vertebral artery dissection include head and neck pain and intermittent or permanent stroke symptoms such as difficulty speaking, impaired coordination and visual loss. It is usually diagnosed with a contrast-enhanced CT or MRI scan.
What does vertebral artery dissection feel like?
If you have vertebral artery dissection, you may have some similar symptoms to those above, such as a severe headache and neck pain. But you may have other symptoms as well, including: face pain and numbness. difficulty speaking or swallowing.
Is vertebral artery dissection painful?
Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) is increasingly identified as a cause of ischemic stroke in young adults. Patients most commonly present with neck pain, headache, visual disturbance, or focal extremity weakness.
Do vertebral artery dissections heal?
Most dissections of the vertebral arteries heal spontaneously and especially, extracranial VADs generally carry a good prognosis.
How is vertebral artery dissection diagnosed?
Computed tomography (CT) scanning – Identifies subarachnoid hemorrhage ; CT angiography (CTA), along with magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), are the imaging modalities of choice for vertebral artery dissections; however, CTA is less accurate in the presence of calcified arteries.
How serious is a vertebral artery dissection?
For those patients that survive the initial dissection, the prognosis is usually good. Approximately 10% of patients die initially. In one clinical follow-up study, 80% achieved a full recovery. Death is typically secondary to extensive intracranial dissection, brainstem infarction, or subarachnoid hemorrhage.
How do you treat a vertebral artery dissection?
First-line treatment for cervical artery dissection usually is antiplatelet agents (such as aspirin) or anti-coagulation to prevent the formation of blood clots. Antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin or clopidogrel may used alone or in combination.
When should you suspect vertebral artery dissection?
Vertebral artery dissection
Specifically ask about double vision or visual field cuts. The presence of either of these should raise the concern for neurologic deficits. Most, but not all, patients with vertebral artery dissection have a headache. Headache is severe, unilateral, and often posterior-occipital.
How long does it take to recover from a vertebral artery dissection?
In general, someone recovering from an arterial dissection is expected to take prescription blood thinners for three to six months. However, if follow-up tests do not show a significant improvement after six months, medication is prescribed for longer periods of time.
What causes a vertebral artery dissection?
Vertebral dissection may occur after physical trauma to the neck, such as a blunt injury (e.g. traffic collision), or strangulation, or after sudden neck movements, i.e. coughing, but may also happen spontaneously. 1–4% of spontaneous cases have a clear underlying connective tissue disorder affecting the blood vessels.
Is vertebral artery dissection a disability?
A Failure to Diagnose a Vertebral Artery Dissection (VAD) Can Lead to a Stroke, Permanent Brain Damage, and Usually Disability or Death to a Child.
What happens if the vertebral artery is blocked?
If the resulting loss of brain function is permanent, it’ s called a stroke (an infarction or brain attack). A stroke can either be caused by blockage in the vertebral or basilar artery or the breaking off of a piece of plaque (embolus) that travels downstream and blocks a portion of the blood flow to the brain.
Where is your vertebral artery located?
Description. The vertebral artery is a major artery in the neck. It branches from the subclavian artery, where it arises from the posterosuperior portion of the subclavian artery.
Can chiropractic manipulation cause vertebral artery dissection?
A retrospective study of stroke cases at two major academic medical centers, led by University of California, San Francisco neurologists, indicates that chiropractic manipulation of the neck can cause vertebral artery dissection, a tearing of the vertebral artery leading to the brain that causes stroke or transient …