Cervical (Carotid and Vertebral) Artery Dissection

  • Vishal B. Jani
  • Richard D. FesslerEmail author


Cervical artery dissection was first reported in an autopsy report by Fred Thomas in 1947 (Schievink, New Engl J Med 344:898–906, 2001). Cervical artery dissection (CAD) is a general term including both carotid and vertebral artery dissections. A CAD occurs when there is a tear in the intimal layer of a carotid or vertebral artery that leads to the development of an intramural hematoma. The hematoma can cause stenosis, occlusion, or aneurysmal dilation. Early detection is of paramount importance as the risk of recurrent stroke is highest during the first month following a CAD. CAD is now recognized as one of the most common causes of stroke in the young, accounting for up to 30% of stroke cases (Ducrocq et al., Revue Neurol 155(8): 575–82, 1999). The present chapter will focus on the clinical features, diagnosis, and available treatment options for spontaneous (non-traumatic) CAD.


Carotid dissection Vertebral dissection Horner syndrome Traumatic dissection Spontaneous dissection Anticoagulation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurology in Stroke, Department of NeurologyCreighton University School of Medicine/CHI HealthOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgerySt. John Hospital and Medical CentersDetroitUSA

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