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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995 Mar;164(3):673-7.

Dissection of the carotid and vertebral arteries: imaging with MR angiography.

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Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.


Arterial dissection occurs when an intimal tear allows blood to enter the arterial wall, potentially compromising the lumen and reducing blood flow. Carotid and vertebral artery dissections typically occur after major trauma, although they also can arise spontaneously or after trivial injury. Arterial dissection has been associated with a variety of factors, including hypertension, fibromuscular dysplasia, Marfan syndrome, cystic medial necrosis, oral contraceptives, drug abuse (sympathomimetics), and infection [1-8]. It is important to recognize arterial dissection early so that prompt treatment can be initiated to prevent ischemic complications [1]. In this essay, we illustrate the use of MR angiography in the diagnosis of carotid and vertebral artery dissection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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