A syndrome of spontaneous cerebral and cervical artery dissections with angiolipomatosis. Report of two cases

J Neurosurg. 2003 May;98(5):1124-7. doi: 10.3171/jns.2003.98.5.1124.


A primary or systemic arteriopathy is frequently suspected in patients with spontaneous cerebral or cervical artery dissections. The authors report on two patients with such dissections accompanied by angiolipomatosis, a previously unreported association, and propose a common developmental defect in these patients. A 50-year-old man with subcutaneous angiolipomatosis developed painful monocular blindness. Angiography studies revealed a spontaneous extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) dissection and an ipsilateral fusiform intracranial ICA aneurysm. The ICA dissection was treated with aspirin, and after 6 months a craniotomy was performed. The aneurysm was found to be fusiform; it involved the entire supraclinoid portion of the ICA, and was wrapped with cotton. A 49-year-old man with a congenitally bicuspid aortic valve and subcutaneous angiolipomatosis developed posterior neck pain. Magnetic resonance imaging and angiography demonstrated a fusiform distal vertebral artery aneurysm. A craniotomy was performed and the aneurysm was found to incorporate the posterior inferior cerebellar artery as well as a perforating artery: the lesion was wrapped cotton. The tunica media of the arteries of the head and neck as well as the aortic valvular cusps are derived from neural crest cells, and angiolipomatosis has been associated with tumors of neural crest derivation. These associations indicate that a neural crest disorder may be the underlying abnormality in these patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Angiolipoma / diagnosis*
  • Angiolipoma / pathology
  • Angiolipoma / surgery
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / pathology
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / surgery
  • Carotid Artery, Internal, Dissection / diagnosis*
  • Carotid Artery, Internal, Dissection / pathology
  • Carotid Artery, Internal, Dissection / surgery
  • Cerebellum / blood supply*
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / surgery
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vertebral Artery / pathology
  • Vertebral Artery / surgery
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / diagnosis*
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / pathology
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / surgery