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Cephalalgia. 1992 Oct;12(5):314-7.

Pain as the only manifestation of internal carotid artery dissection.

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Service de Neurologie, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.


Internal carotid artery dissection is a major cause of ischemic stroke in the young. Pain is the leading symptom and is associated with other focal signs such as Horner's syndrome and painful tinnitus or with signs of cerebral or retinal ischemia. We report two patients with angiographically confirmed extracranial internal carotid artery dissection presenting with cephalic pain as the only manifestation. The first patient had a diffuse headache and a latero-cervical pain lasting for 12 days, reminiscent of carotidynia. The second patient experienced an exploding headache suggestive of subarachnoid hemorrhage, which was ruled out by computed tomography of the head and cerebrospinal fluid study. These patients demonstrate that recognition of carotid artery dissection as a cause of carotidynia and headache suggestive of subarachnoid hemorrhage may permit an earlier diagnosis and possibly the prevention of a stroke through the use of anticoagulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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