What are common symptoms of vertebral artery dissection (VAD)?

Updated: Feb 21, 2019
  • Author: Eddy S Lang, MDCM, CCFP(EM), CSPQ; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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When neurologic dysfunction does occur, patients most commonly report symptoms attributable to lateral medullary dysfunction (ie, Wallenberg syndrome). Patient history may include the following:

  • Ipsilateral facial dysesthesia (pain and numbness) [1] - Most common symptom

  • Dysarthria or hoarseness (cranial nerves [CN] IX and X)

  • Contralateral loss of pain and temperature sensation in the trunk and limbs

  • Ipsilateral loss of taste (nucleus and tractus solitarius)

  • Hiccups

  • Vertigo [1]

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Diplopia or oscillopsia (image movement experienced with head motion)

  • Dysphagia (CN IX and X)

  • Disequilibrium

  • Unilateral hearing loss [2]

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