Vertebral Artery Dissection or Tearing Neck

Neck | Neurology | Vertebral Artery Dissection or Tearing Neck (Disease)


The vertebral artery feeds into the basilar artery. The basilar artery supplies the cerebellum and mid brain. The vertebral arteries travel through a channel in the spine. Sudden movement of the neck, such as in a car accident, can cause injury (dissection) of this vessel. In case of vertebral artery dissection cervical or occipital pain, dizziness, or subarachnoid hemorrhage can occur.

After the tear, blood enters the arterial wall and forms a blood clot, thickening the artery wall and often impeding blood flow. The symptoms of vertebral artery dissection include head and neck pain and intermittent or permanent stroke symptoms such as difficulty speaking, impaired coordination and visual loss.

Causes and Risk factors

Vertebral Artery Dissection, carotid and vertebral basilar often occurs spontaneously and young people 40-50 years and rarely after minor trauma (curls and extensions forced throat, cough) or major trauma(catheterization, direct hits).

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment is focused on reducing stroke episodes and damage from a distending artery. Four treatment modalities have been reported in the treatment of vertebral artery dissection. The two main treatments involve medication: anticoagulation (using heparin and warfarin) and antiplatelet drugs (usually aspirin).

More rarely, thrombolysis (medication that dissolves blood clots) may be administered, and occasionally obstruction may be treated with angioplasty and stenting. No randomized controlled trials have been performed to compare the different treatment modalities. Surgery is only used in exceptional cases. ...