To examine whether baseline characteristics, potential risk factors, clinical symptoms, radiological presentation, and long-term outcomes differ between internal carotid artery dissection (ICAD) and vertebral artery dissection (VAD).
Cervical artery dissection (CeAD) is a major cause of cerebral ischaemia in young adults. Its clinical course is highly variable, resulting in challenges in making a proper diagnosis.
We performed a retrospective analysis of 31 patients (mean age 42.2 years) with CeAD (18 with ICAD, 13 with VAD) treated in our neurology department from 2008 to 2018. Appropriate imaging confirmed the diagnosis of CeAD.
Patients with ICAD presented Horner syndrome significantly more often (44.4% vs 7.6%; p = 0.04). Patients with VAD more often had ischaemic events (ischaemic stroke, TIA or transient blindness) (84.6% vs 44.6%; p = 0.0032). Ischaemic stroke was more severe in patients with ICAD [(median NIHSS 6, interquartile range 4-12) vs VAD (median NIHSS 4, interquartile range 1.5-5.5), p = 0,03]. Occlusion occurred more often in patients with VAD (69.2% vs 22.2%; p = 0.013). Most patients had a favourable outcome (mRS 0-2).
In a series of patients with CeAD, we observed significant differences between VAD and ICAD in terms of clinical symptoms and radiological features.