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Cervical Artery Dissection: Early Recognition And Stroke Prevention (Stroke and Trauma CME)

July 2016

Abstract

Cervical artery dissections involve the carotid or vertebral arteries. Although the overall incidence is low, they remain a common cause of stroke in children, young adults, and trauma patients. Symptoms such as headache, neck pain, and dizziness are commonly seen in the emergency department, but may not be apparent in the obtunded trauma patient. A missed diagnosis of cervical artery dissection can result in devastating neurological sequelae, so emergency clinicians must act quickly to recognize this event and begin treatment as soon as possible while neurological consultation is obtained. This issue reviews the evidence in applying advanced screening criteria and choosing imaging and antithrombotic treatment strategies for patients with cervical artery dissections to reduce the occurrence of ischemic stroke.

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Key words: carotid artery dissection, vertebral artery dissection, cervical artery dissection, blunt cerebral vascular injury, dissecting intracranial aneurysm, intracranial dissection, stroke, lateral medullary syndrome, Horner syndrome, neck pain, dysgeusia, double lumen, pseudoaneurysm, intramural hematoma, Denver Criteria, Memphis Criteria

 

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