Impaired Brachial Flow-Mediated Dilatation May Predict Symptomatic Intracranial Arterial Dissections

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2018 Oct;27(10):2691-2695. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.05.041. Epub 2018 Jul 19.


Background and purpose: Spontaneous intracranial arterial dissections are characterized by the sudden disruption of the internal elastic lamina in the intracranial arteries. The purpose of our retrospective study was to investigate whether patients with nontraumatic intracranial arterial dissections had normal endothelial function.

Methods: The study included symptomatic patients with nontraumatic intracranial arterial dissections who underwent an endothelial function test. Controls were selected from headache patients matched for sex and age. Endothelial function was assessed using flow-mediated dilatation. We investigated patients' ankle brachial index and pulse wave velocity to determine the degree of atherosclerosis. Patient characteristics, brachial flow-mediated dilatation, ankle brachial index, and pulse wave velocity were compared between the 2 groups.

Results: During the study period, there were 22 patients with nontraumatic intracranial arterial dissections matched with 22 controls. Clinical characteristics were compared between the groups. Although there were no significant differences in ankle brachial index or pulse wave velocity between the 2 groups, patients with intracranial arterial dissections had lower flow-mediated dilatation values than controls (median flow-mediated dilatation, 3.95% in dissection patients versus 7.3% in controls, P = .0035). Brachial flow-mediated dilatation was impaired in symptomatic patients with nontraumatic intracranial arterial dissections despite the normal ankle brachial index and pulse wave velocity.

Conclusions: Impaired brachial flow-mediated dilatation is a probable predictor of intracranial arterial dissections.

Keywords: flow mediated dilation; intracranial arterial dissections.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / complications
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / diagnosis
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / physiopathology*
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Pulsed
  • Vasodilation*