What is the prognosis of extracranial 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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Most patients with extracranial dissection do remarkably well if they survive the initial crisis. As many as 88% of these patients demonstrate a complete clinical recovery at follow-up. However, this suggests an overall risk of death, recurrent transient ischemic attacks, or stroke of approximately 10%.

One series suggests that the severity of neurologic deficits at the time of presentation is related directly to the functional outcome.

Follow-up angiography demonstrates spontaneous healing in as many as two thirds of these patients.

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