What is the role of lab studies in the diagnosis 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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Because VAD occurs in young, generally healthy individuals, laboratory evaluation is directed toward establishing baseline parameters in anticipation of anticoagulant therapy, as follows:

  • Prothrombin time (PT) with international normalized ratio (INR)

  • Activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT)

In addition, elevation of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) may suggest vasculitis involving the cerebrovascular circulation.

See Workup for more detail.

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