Recanalization of cervical artery dissection: influencing factors and role in neurological outcome

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2004;17(2-3):93-7. doi: 10.1159/000075775. Epub 2003 Dec 23.


Background and purpose: Generally, the prognosis for cervical artery dissection (CAD) is uncertain. The recanalization rate of CAD can be up to 85% within 3 months. This study evaluates the variables that might affect recanalization and the role of recanalization as a predictor for neurological outcome.

Patients and results: This study prospectively included 38 patients with acute stroke following occlusion due to CAD (18 males, 20 females, median age 50.5 years, range 16-82). Vertebral and carotid dissections were equally distributed (19 carotid dissections). The recanalization rate was influenced by the presence of hypertension (p = 0.001). Outcomes were dependent on infarct location. Patients with lateral medullary infarction returned to functional independence (p = 0.026), while patients with deep hemispheric infarction tended to have a disabling stroke (p = 0.068). The presence of good collaterals seemed to influence functional independence (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: There seemed to be no relationship between outcome and the rate of recanalization following CAD. Recanalization appeared to be a spontaneous mechanism, which could have depended on the intrinsic condition of the vessels. Finally, neurological outcome was dependent on lesion localization and the presence of good collaterals.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Carotid Artery, Internal, Dissection / drug therapy*
  • Carotid Artery, Internal, Dissection / epidemiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Collateral Circulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / drug therapy*
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / epidemiology*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors