Carotid artery dissection: What are the signs and symptoms?

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Carotid artery dissection: What are the signs and symptoms?

Question

What are the signs and symptoms of carotid artery dissection? Is this a serious condition?

Pieter
Germany

Answer

Signs and symptoms of carotid artery dissection may include:

  • Headache or neck pain
  • Decreased pupil size with drooping of the upper eyelid (Horner syndrome)
  • Transient vision loss
  • Ischemic stroke

The carotid arteries, which supply blood to your brain, are located in the front part of your neck. A dissection is a tear in the inner lining of an artery, sometimes caused by trauma. Dissections can also occur spontaneously, without a clear cause. This tear in the artery allows blood to leak into the artery wall.

Carotid artery dissection can be life-threatening and requires emergency medical attention.

Carotid artery dissection

Illustration showing carotid artery dissection

A carotid artery dissection is a tear in the inner lining of a carotid artery, sometimes caused by trauma. This tear allows blood to leak into the artery wall.

Last Updated: 04/04/2007
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