Vertebral artery dissection quiz

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Shohei Harase

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Shohei Harase, MD

Neurology

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Learn more about Vertebral artery dissection

Content updated on Jun 1, 2022

What is vertebral artery dissection?

The vertebral artery is located in the neck and supplies blood to the brain. A vertebral artery dissection is when there is a tear in the inner lining of your vertebral artery, resulting in a disruption of blood flow to your brain and causing a stroke. This can happen most commonly due to a blunt force to your neck.

Symptoms related to vertebral artery dissection

  • Unable to move my face

  • I feel like I'm spinning around / vertigo

  • Eyeballs cannot move properly, and cannot look in a certain direction

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Headache

  • Difficulty pronouncing words

  • Sensation of imbalance as if floating when at sea

Questions your doctor may ask to check for vertebral artery dissection

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose vertebral artery dissection

  • Do you have difficulty controlling the muscles of your face?

  • Do you feel like your surroundings are spinning around?

  • Do you have problems moving your eyes in a specific direction?

  • Do you have nausea or vomiting?

  • Do you have headaches or does your head feel heavy?

Treatment for vertebral artery dissection

They usually heal by themselves and the prognosis is good. Treatment is aimed at reducing the risk of future stroke by taking blood thinners and anticoagulants.

View the symptoms of Vertebral artery dissection

References

  • Saw AE, McIntosh AS, Kountouris A. Vertebral artery dissection in sport: Expert opinion of mechanisms and risk-reduction strategies. J Clin Neurosci. 2019 Oct;68:28-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2019.07.016. Epub 2019 Aug 6. PMID: 31399319.

    https://www.jocn-journal.com/article/S0967-5868(19)30151-1/fulltext

  • Braga BP, Sillero R, Pereira RM, Urgun K, Swift DM, Rollins NK, Hogge AJ, Dowling MM. Dynamic compression in vertebral artery dissection in children: apropos of a new protocol. Childs Nerv Syst. 2021 Apr;37(4):1285-1293. doi: 10.1007/s00381-020-04956-1. Epub 2020 Nov 6. PMID: 33155060.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00381-020-04956-1

  • Harada T, Harada Y, Shimizu T. Vertebral Artery Dissection after Exposure to Levofloxacin: A Report of Two Cases. Intern Med. 2021 Sep 1;60(17):2863-2865. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.6736-20. Epub 2021 Mar 22. PMID: 33746163; PMCID: PMC8479225.

    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/internalmedicine/60/17/60_6736-20/_article

Shohei Harase

Medically Reviewed By:

Shohei Harase, MD

Neurology

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