Spontaneous dissecting aneurysm of the vertebral artery is an infrequent cause of vertebro basilar ischemic strokes. Previously reported cases concern essentially occlusion of the basilar artery. Only 14 cases of spontaneous dissecting aneurysm concern the extracranial vertebral artery among these eight were angiographically documented. In this study based upon 15 patients (20 dissecting aneurysms), the authors discuss etiological factors, such as hypertension or fibromuscular dysplasia: on clinical findings they insist upon the diagnostic value of preliminary symptoms, cervical pain or posterior headaches; the most frequent angiographic appearance was a long and irregular stenosis of one or two segments of the vertebral artery. The prognosis of these aneurysms most often appears favourable in this group.