Male Sex Is Associated With Cervical Artery Dissection in Patients With Fibromuscular Dysplasia

J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Jun;10(11):e018311. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.018311. Epub 2021 May 17.


Background Cervical artery dissection (CeAD) is a frequent manifestation of fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD). However, risk factors for CeAD are unknown. We investigated factors associated with CeAD in the ARCADIA (Assessment of Renal and Cervical Artery Dysplasia) registry. Methods and Results The ARCADIA registry includes women or men aged ≥18 years, with a diagnosis of renal, cervical, or intracranial artery FMD, who were prospectively recruited at 16 university hospitals in France and Belgium. Diagnosis of acute or past CeAD at inclusion was established on imaging according to standard diagnostic criteria. Associations between potential determinants and CeAD were assessed by logistic regression analyses. Among 469 patients (75 men) with FMD, 65 (13.9%) had CeAD. Patients with CeAD were younger, more likely to be men, have a history of migraine, and less likely to have a history of hypertension than patients without CeAD. In the multivariable analysis, male sex (odds ratio [OR], 2.66; 95% CI, 1.34-5.25), history of migraine (OR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.06-3.39), age ≥50 years (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.23-0.73), history of hypertension (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.20-0.64), and involvement of ≥3 vascular beds (OR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.15-5.40) were significantly associated with CeAD. To validate the association between CeAD and sex, we performed a systematic review. We collected additional data on sex from 2 published studies and unpublished data from the US Registry for Fibromuscular Dysplasia and the European/International FMD Registry. In the pooled analysis (289 CeAD, 1933 patients), male sex was significantly associated with CeAD (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.41-2.95; I2=0%). Conclusions In patients with FMD, male sex and multisite involvement are associated with CeAD, in addition to other previously known risk factors. Registration URL:; Unique identifier: NCT02884141.

Keywords: cervical artery dissection; fibromuscular dysplasia; sex.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction / methods
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Computed Tomography Angiography / methods
  • Female
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / complications*
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / diagnosis
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Vertebral Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / diagnosis
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / epidemiology*
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / etiology

Associated data