Carotid Artery Dissection

Below you will find more information about Carotid Artery Dissection from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Carotid Artery Dissection it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Carotid Artery Dissection and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Carotid Artery Dissection comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Carotid artery dissection involves a tear in an inner artery lining, known as carotid artery. Carotid arteries supply blood to the brain, and are located in the neck's front portion. The condition may be critical, and needs immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis

Complete neurological and physical exam must be performed for diagnosis. This includes testing the vision, movement, mental function, and sensations. Test can include head CT or MRI, vascular ultrasound or MRA, cerebral angiography, and blood tests.

Treatment

Treatment will depend on severity of the symptoms. Medicine can be needed in controlling high-blood pressure. Drugs for blood thinning may also be required for several months. Surgery can also be done to repair the dissection, and other therapies might be needed if there's an underlying disorder/s in blood vessels.

Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms and signs of the condition can include neck pain or headache, transient loss of vision, decreased size of the pupil accompanied drooping of upper eyelid, weakness, numbness, talking or speech problems, and ischemic stroke. Patients experiencing critical carotid artery dissection may complain of rare focal neurologic illness, especially involving the cranial nerves and occurring after a significant trauma or impact to the neck.

Causes

The cause of the condition can be generally categorized into two: spontaneous and traumatic. Dissections that occur spontaneously were once uncommon, but have been increasingly recognized as a source of stroke in middle-aged individuals. Traumatic causes are commonly believed to be the result of neck and/or head trauma. The tear in carotid artery lets the blood leak into the walls of the artery.

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