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Supplementary Material for: Clinical Presentation, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, Ultrasound Findings, and Stroke Patterns in Patients with Vertebral Artery Dissection

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2016, 07:44 by Günther A., Witte O.W., Freesmeyer M., Drescher R.
Background/Aims: Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) is an important cause of ischemic stroke. In this observational study, clinical data, magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound (US) imaging findings and ischemic patterns were analyzed. Methods:Forty-seven patients with a diagnosis of VAD underwent clinical examination, US, MR of the brain and neck and MR angiography (MRA) of the cervical arteries. Vascular abnormalities and ischemic brain lesions were noted. Data were evaluated separately and compared for spontaneous and traumatic VAD subgroups. Results: The most common overall clinical symptom was vertigo followed by neck pain. In the traumatic subgroup, vertigo was relatively rare (p = 0.022). Most common MRA findings were vessel irregularity and vessel occlusions. Ischemic lesions occurred significantly more frequently after spontaneous than after traumatic VAD (p = 0.009). Unilateral VAD was significantly more common in non-dominant vertebral arteries (p < 0.001). Mortality after trauma was not only due to VAD complications but also due to other trauma-related injuries. Conclusion: The variability of MR and US imaging findings in patients with VAD is illustrated. The algorithm of management should be based on a multimodality approach involving patient history and clinical neurological examination. Several types of vessel abnormalities and ischemic lesion in diverse locations may point to arterial dissection, and the differential diagnosis of VAD must be kept in mind.