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Available from: Zeljko Zivanovic,
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    ABSTRACT: Vertebral artery (VA) occlusion is a serious and potentially life-threatening occurrence. Bow hunter's syndrome, a mechanical occlusion of the VA due to physiological head rotation, has been well described in the medical literature. However, mechanical VA compression due to routine flexion or extension of the neck has not been previously reported. The authors present the unique case of a woman without any history of trauma who had multiple posterior fossa strokes and was found to have dynamic occlusion of her right VA visualized via cerebral angiogram upon extension of her neck. This occlusion was attributed to instability at the occipitocervical junction in a patient with a previously unknown congenital fusion of both the occiput to C-1 and C-2 to C-3. An occiput to C-3 fusion was performed to stabilize her cervical spine and minimize the dynamic vascular compression. A postoperative angiogram showed no evidence of restricted flow with flexion or extension of the neck. This case emphasizes the importance of considering symptoms of vertebrobasilar insufficiency as a result of physiological head movement. The authors also review the literature on VA compression resulting from physiological head movement as well as strategies for clinical diagnosis and treatment.
    Journal of neurosurgery. Spine 01/2014; 20(3). DOI:10.3171/2013.12.SPINE13653 · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is controversy surrounding the risk of manipulation, which is often used by chiropractors, with respect to its association with vertebrobasilar artery system (VBA) stroke. The objective of this study was to compare the associations between chiropractic care and VBA stroke with recent primary care physician (PCP) care and VBA stroke. The study design was a case-control study of commercially insured and Medicare Advantage (MA) health plan members in the U.S. population between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013. Administrative data were used to identify exposures to chiropractic and PCP care. Separate analyses using conditional logistic regression were conducted for the commercially insured and the MA populations. The analysis of the commercial population was further stratified by age (<45 years; ≥45 years). Odds ratios were calculated to measure associations for different hazard periods. A secondary descriptive analysis was conducted to determine the relevance of using chiropractic visits as a proxy for exposure to manipulative treatment. There were a total of 1,829 VBA stroke cases (1,159 - commercial; 670 - MA). The findings showed no significant association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke for either population or for samples stratified by age. In both commercial and MA populations, there was a significant association between PCP visits and VBA stroke incidence regardless of length of hazard period. The results were similar for age-stratified samples. The findings of the secondary analysis showed that chiropractic visits did not report the inclusion of manipulation in almost one third of stroke cases in the commercial population and in only 1 of 2 cases of the MA cohort. We found no significant association between exposure to chiropractic care and the risk of VBA stroke. We conclude that manipulation is an unlikely cause of VBA stroke. The positive association between PCP visits and VBA stroke is most likely due to patient decisions to seek care for the symptoms (headache and neck pain) of arterial dissection. We further conclude that using chiropractic visits as a measure of exposure to manipulation may result in unreliable estimates of the strength of association with the occurrence of VBA stroke.
    Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 06/2015; 23(1):19. DOI:10.1186/s12998-015-0063-x
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Arterial dissections are important causes of stroke in the young population. Dissection has been reported in association with some sports. It seems that this report is among the first ones of the cervical arterial dissection in a young swimmer. Case presentation: A 30-year-old male professional swimmer with no history of any major disease suddenly complained of severe ataxia, moderate headache, neck pain, unilateral left facial weakness, and feelings of tingling and paresthesia on the left side of his body and face a few minutes following head and body stretching exercises in land. There was no history of major head or neck trauma, manipulation, and practicing diving skills in the past. Acute infarction of the left cerebellum was diagnosed after performing brain computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (with contrast) studies. Cervical magnetic resonance angiography confirmed left vertebral artery dissection as the cause of infarction. Conclusions: Important differential diagnoses of cervicocephalic arterial dissection include other vascular or neurological causes of head and neck pain and/or local neurological syndromes and other causes of brain ischemia such as cardiac emboli, atherosclerosis, and vasculopathy of brain vessels. It is important that sports medicine practitioners pay attention to this less-diagnosed cause of stroke in young athletes.
    Asian Journal of Sports Medicine 06/2015; 6(2). DOI:10.5812/asjsm.6(2)2015.23812