Cervical artery dissections involve the carotid or vertebral arteries. An intimal tear creates a pseudolumen with intramural hematoma, which can later lead to vessel occlusion, thrombus formation, embolus, pseudoaneurysm, or rupture.
Cervical artery dissections from blunt trauma are caused by direct blow to the neck, hyperextension or contralateral rotation, intraoral trauma, or skull-base fractures. However, they can also occur spontaneously or with minor trauma. On average, symptoms occur 2 to 3 days after the traumatic event.
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