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Papers of the Week

2020 Dec

Maedica (Bucur)



Internal Carotid Artery Dissection – A Case for Antithrombotic Therapy in the Era of (Minimally) Invasive Procedures.


Bratu I-F, Ribigan A C, Stefan D, Davidoiu C R, Badea R S, Antochi F A
Maedica (Bucur). 2020 Dec; 15(4):536-542.
PMID: 33603914.


Carotid artery dissection represents a common cause of stroke among people aged 30-45. We present two clinical cases and a review of the literature concerning the management of internal carotid artery dissections (ICADs). The two patients are a 54-year-old male and a 40-year-old female. The first patient presented to our Neurology Department for one-week-old intense occipital headache. His clinical examination revealed left-sided miosis and upper eyelid ptosis. He underwent cerebral-cervical computed tomography (CT) and computed tomography angiography (CTA) scans and the latter revealed hemodynamically significant narrowing of both ICAs (right C1-C5 and left C1-C2 segments). Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography and Doppler ultrasonography (DUS) of the cervical-cerebral arteries showed right ICA occlusion at its origin (dissection fold and intraluminal thrombosis). Cervical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) revealed a semilunar-shaped T2-weighted hypersignal present in the walls of the C1-C5 segments of the right ICA and of the C1-C2 segments of the left ICA, with bilaterally reduced intraluminal flow (right more than left). These findings indicated the presence of bilateral ICA intramural hematomas caused by subacute bilateral ICAD. The second patient presented to our Neurology Department for recurrent episodes of headache and lateral cervical pain on both sides. She underwent transcranial DUS and DUS of the cervicalcerebral arteries. They revealed right ICAD fold in its upper cervical segments. The CTA scan of the supra-aortic trunks showed hemodynamically significant narrowing with subsequent diminished blood flow in the upper cervical segments of right ICA. The patient was diagnosed with right ICAD. Both patients were treated using antiplatelet therapy for primary prevention of ischaemic events. Follow-up at seven months and at six months, respectively, by means of CTA of the supra-aortic trunks or MRA of the cervical region, revealed the restoration of arterial patency with subsequent normal blood flow in both cases. The long-term outcomes of ICADs should be kept in mind when assigning medical or endovascular management on a case-by-case basis. Antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy is a safe and effective first-line strategy in such patients, especially in cases that do not warrant particular management.