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.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel