Cervicocranial arterial dissection

Neurosurgery. 1991 Jul;29(1):89-96. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199107000-00015.


Dissection of the cervicocranial arteries is becoming more frequently recognized as a cause of neurological disorders. Typical clinical features seen with dissection include unilateral headache, oculosympathetic palsy, amaurosis fugax, and symptoms of focal brain ischemia. The diagnosis of carotid or intracranial dissection is usually best confirmed by angiography, although magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography have been shown to visualize intimal dissection. The prognosis in cases of spontaneous dissection is generally benign unless the initial manifestation involves infarction with substantial deficit. The best approach to treatment appears to be the administration of the anticoagulant, heparin, followed by warfarin or antiplatelet therapy. Surgical intervention is reserved for cases of progressive or recurrent ischemic complication that occurs despite the administration of adequate doses of anticoagulants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Dissection* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Dissection* / etiology
  • Aortic Dissection* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / etiology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography