Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 249–253

Carotid artery dissection

Authors

  • Magdy Selim
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Division of Cerebrovascular Diseases
  • Louis R. Caplan
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Division of Cerebrovascular Diseases
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11936-996-0020-z

Cite this article as:
Selim, M. & Caplan, L.R. Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med (2004) 6: 249. doi:10.1007/s11936-996-0020-z

Opinion statement

Dissection of the carotid artery in the neck is a relatively common condition. Most dissections are spontaneous, likely related to activities that cause sudden stretch of the pharyngeal portion of the carotid artery. Many patients do not develop brain ischemia but have a triad of neck and head pain, Horner’s syndrome, and pulsatile tinnitus. Others present with transient or persistent brain ischemia. Strokes are due to the embolization of thrombus material from the lumen of the dissected artery to the intracranial arteries, most often the middle cerebral artery. Although there have been no randomized therapeutic trials in patients with carotid artery dissection, experience shows that standard anticoagulants in the form of heparin followed by Coumadin (Du Pont Pharma, Wilmington, DE) are effective in preventing further artery-to-artery emboli.

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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2004