Vertebral Artery Dissections

The echocolor Doppler is an excellent tool in screening for vertebral dissection defined as the splitting of the arterial wall of the vertebral artery.

In the vertebral artery dissection, ultrasonographic specific signs (segmental dilation of the vessel, eccentric channel) are detectable in only 20% of patients, while nonspecific signs (low reflective thrombus, high-resistance spectral waveform, or absence of flow with no spectral Doppler waveform) are detectable in 92% of patients.

Emergency echocolor Doppler is very useful in the initial assessment of patients who are thought to have a vertebral dissection (unilateral headache without focal neurology): although the echocolor Doppler most frequent signs are indirect and not specific, an abnormal pattern of flow is identified in more than 90% of patients.

In this lesson the echocolor-Doppler findings of the vertebral artery dissections will be presented.

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