Local Symptoms and Recanalization in Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
Stroke (Impact Factor: 6.02). 09/2009; 40(11):e629; author reply e630-1. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.552463
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Intra- and extracranial internal carotid artery dissections (ICD) are two different pathological conditions. Extracranial dissection is considered to be among the most frequent causes of stroke in the young and the segment generally reopens in 2 out of 3 cases, completely or partially, within 6 months. Intracranial ICD (IICD) is considered a rare occurrence in stroke and, accordingly, there are few systematic published data. However, it is a clinically significant condition that may cause severely disabling ischemic stroke or subarachnoid hemorrhage. In the past, sole availability of invasive imaging methods for its detection may have induced an underreporting. The aim of the study was to analyze ultrasound findings, timing and predictors of recanalization in patients with IICD. Methods: IICD acute patients admitted to our Stroke Unit were submitted to carotid sonographic seriated monitoring, daily for the 1st week after symptom onset, at day 14, at month 1 and every 3 months thereafter up to a follow-up of 4 years. Contrast carotid ultrasound was performed in patients with persistent occlusion after month 1. Results: Fourteen acute patients with IICD were enrolled. Extracranial internal carotid patency was observed in 8 patients at first ultrasound scans; all of these showed complete intracranial recanalization within the 1st week and oral anticoagulants were withdrawn after 6 months. Conversely, in 6 patients retrograde extracranial internal carotid thrombosis was immediately observed, since the first ultrasound scans. In 4 of these the occlusion persisted after 4 years while 2 of them had only a partial recanalization, with evidence at contrast ultrasound of still late remodeling processes in the extracranial thrombus up to 2 years after the first observation; for this reason, in these 2 patients anticoagulation was not discontinued, while in the 4 patients with persistent, stable, occlusion, therapy was suspended 1 year after the diagnosis. Conclusions: Identification of the site of dissection - i.e. extra- versus intracranial - is fundamental in clinical studies for outcome and prognosis evaluation. Carotid ultrasound strict surveillance is important to monitor eventual recanalization in patients with ICD, even in a late phase. Retrograde internal carotid thrombosis seems to be correlated with persistent occlusion and partial recanalization. Remodeling of thrombotic material in the internal carotid artery may, however, continue for up to 2 years. In these cases, contrast ultrasound evidence of thrombus morphological changes may support the decision to continue anticoagulation.
    Cerebrovascular Diseases 05/2013; 35(5):476-482. DOI:10.1159/000350212 · 3.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cervical artery dissection (CeAD) is a frequent cause of stroke among young patients. It is unclear how many CeADs occur asymptomatically or cause subtle and unspecific clinical symptoms. We hypothesize that CeAD remains often unrecognized. Accordingly, the incidence of CeAD might be higher and the stroke risk lower than generally assumed. Lack of CeAD-indicating clinical symptoms is regarded as the main cause of missed diagnoses. We further hypothesize that underrepresentation of asymptomatic and oligosymptomatic patients in CeAD studies may have biased the association between ischemia and local symptoms in CeAD patients as well as the associations of CeAD with risk factors or co-morbidities. We finally hypothesize that symptomatic CeAD may be preceded by an initial asymptomatic phase. According to this final hypothesis, the time of onset of CeAD should be considered uncertain. The issue of unrecognized CeAD is relevant, as it may affect the associations between CeAD and putative risk factors. Furthermore, the existence of clinically silent CeADs may explain why recurrent and familial CeAD have been rarely observed.
    Medical Hypotheses 04/2013; 80(6). DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2013.03.012 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Stroke in patients with acute cervical artery dissection may be anticipated by initial transient ischemic or nonischemic symptoms.AimIdentifying risk factors for delayed stroke upon cervical artery dissection.Methods Cervical artery dissection patients from the multicenter Cervical Artery Dissection and Ischemic Stroke Patients study were classified as patients without stroke (n = 339), with stroke preceded by nonstroke symptoms (delayed stroke, n = 244), and with stroke at onset (n = 382). Demographics, clinical, and vascular findings were compared between the three groups.ResultsPatients with delayed stroke were more likely to present with occlusive cervical artery dissection (P < 0·001), multiple cervical artery dissection (P = 0·031), and vertebral artery dissection (P < 0·001) than patients without stroke. No differences were observed in age, smoking, arterial hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, migraine, body mass index, infections during the last week, and trauma during the last month, but patients with delayed stroke had less often transient ischemic attack (P < 0·001) and local signs (Horner syndrome and cranial nerve palsy; P < 0·001).Conclusions Occlusive cervical artery dissection, multiple cervical artery dissection, and vertebral artery dissection were associated with an increased risk for delayed stroke. No other risk factors for delayed stroke were identified. Immediate cervical imaging of cervical artery dissection patients without ischemic stroke is needed to identify patients at increased risk for delayed ischemia.
    International Journal of Stroke 12/2012; 10(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1747-4949.2012.00954.x · 4.03 Impact Factor


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