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Stroke secondary to carotid dissection

  • Definition

    A stroke secondary to carotid dissection is a type of stroke due to a tear in the lining of a major neck artery, called the carotid artery.


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to any part of the brain. When a tear in the lining of the carotid artery occurs (carotid dissection), blood flows in between layers of the blood vessel. This causes narrowing of the vessel, which makes it hard for blood to travel properly.

    Stroke secondary to carotid dissection, unlike many other forms of stroke, may occur in young people, usually under 40 years old. Dissection accounts for less than 5% of strokes.

    The risks for stroke secondary to carotid dissection include a history of disorders that cause weakness of the blood vessels, such as Marfan syndrome and fibromuscular dysplasia. Injury to the neck and certain medical procedures involving the carotid artery (such as an arteriogram) also raises your risk.