Nine patients with dissections of the cervical arteries are presented. Dissections cause approximately three per cent of non-haemorrhagic stroke and are usually observed in young and middle-aged patients. Dissections very often give rise to head or neck pain. Carotid artery dissection may lead to lower cranial nerve dysfunction and an incomplete Horner's syndrome in case of subadventitial dissection, and to cerebral ischaemia in case of subintimal spread. Vertebral artery dissection may cause brain stem ischaemia (subintimal dissection) or in rare cases a subarachnoid haemorrhage (subadventitial spread). The history frequently reveals a (trivial) traumatic event. Diagnosis is usually established by angiography or MRI. The prognosis is good and recurrences are rare. Treatment with anticoagulants or acetylsalicylic acid seems recommendable, though scientifically unproven.