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Papers of the Week

2020 Aug 27

Neurol Sci

Headache in cervicocerebral artery dissection.


Vidale S
Neurol Sci. 2020 Aug 27.
PMID: 32852688.


Cervicocerebral artery dissection (CAD) is one of the more frequent causes of stroke in young adults with rates of up to 25%. Predisposing and risk factors for CAD are very different, and an etiological classification is based on the presence of a previous minor or major trauma, differentiating traumatic from spontaneous CAD. Headache represents one of the main initial symptoms for this pathological condition, probably due to the release of pro-inflammatory neurotransmitters from nerve terminals near the injured vessel. For its peculiar characteristics, the headache due to CAD has been defined with specific ICHD-3 criteria. In many cases, headache is associated with other signs related to the dissection or cerebral ischemia. In this systematic review of literature, headache was reported in more than 70% of cases with CAD with a prevalence in vertebrobasilar dissections. More than half of patients suffered a severe pain that was usually located in fronto-temporal and occipito-nuchal regions in the case of dissections in the anterior and posterior circulation, respectively. For the high stroke risk, CAD has to be promptly diagnosed with MRI or CTA and treated with anticoagulants or antithrombotics.