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Case Rep Neurol Med. 2015;2015:182875. doi: 10.1155/2015/182875. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Minor trauma causing stroke in a young athlete.

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Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego (UCSD), San Diego, CA 92103, USA.
Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA.
Florida International University (FIU), 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33174, USA.


A 17-year-old Caucasian male presented with sudden dizziness, ataxia, vertigo, and clumsiness lasting for a couple of hours. He had a subtle trauma during a wrestling match 2 days prior to the presentation. A CT Angiogram (CTA) and MRI showed left vertebral artery dissection (VAD). The patient was treated with anticoagulation with heparin drip in the ICU. The patient was discharged home on the third day on Lovenox-warfarin bridging. This case underscores the importance of considering VAD as a differential diagnosis in patients with sports-related symptoms especially in activities entailing hyperextension or hyperrotation of neck. Due to a varied latent period, often minor underlying trauma, and subtle presentation, a low index of suspicion is warranted in timely diagnosis and treatment of VAD. Considering recent evidence in treatment modality, either antiplatelet therapy or anticoagulation may be used for treatment of VAD.

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