How do tortuous blood vessels predispose to cervical artery dissection?

Vascular tortuosity may be associated with cervical artery dissection

Kim BJ, Yang E, Kim NY, et al.

Stroke 2016; 47:2548-2552.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: 

Dissection is an increasingly recognized cause of ischemic stroke, which occurs spontaneously or after trauma, in relatively young patients. We hypothesized that there might be a predisposing factor weakening the vascular wall and that arterial tortuosity might be higher in patients with dissection.

METHODS;

We consecutively enrolled cervical artery dissection (CerAD) patients who had undergone magnetic resonance angiography. Age- and sex-matched healthy subjects who underwent magnetic resonance angiography in a routine health examination were used as controls. The tortuosity was measured semiautomatically from the carotid artery and vertebral artery (VA) arteries. Tortuosity index was defined as: [(arc/chord)−1×100] in each arteries. Independent risk factors associated with CerAD were investigated using multivariable analysis. Subgroup analysis according to the dissected artery was performed.

RESULTS:

There were no differences in vascular risk factors between the 75 CerAD patients and the 75 controls. The tortuosity indexes of the contralesional VA (16.3±6.8 versus 12.1±4.5, respectively; P<0.001) and carotid artery (8.8±4.0 versus 7.3±2.9, respectively; P=0.01) were higher in patients with CerAD compared with those of control subjects. VA tortuosity (odds ratio, 1.175; P=0.001) was independently associated with the presence of CerAD. In subgroup analysis, VA tortuosity was significantly higher in 57 patients with VA dissection than in controls (P<0.001), and carotid artery tortuosity was marginally higher in 18 patients with carotid artery dissection (P=0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Cervical artery dissection is associated with tortuous cervical arteries, which may implicate weakened cervical vascular structure in these patients.

This reference is now included in the neurochecklist:

Cervical artery dissection (CAD): causes and risk factors

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Abstract link

By Henry Vandyke Carter - Henry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body (See "Book" section below)Bartleby.com: Gray's Anatomy, Plate 1210, Public Domain, Link
By Henry Vandyke CarterHenry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body (See “Book” section below)Bartleby.com: Gray’s Anatomy, Plate 1210, Public Domain, Link
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