Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Elliot J. RothEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2175


A dissection is a tear of an artery that allows blood to spill or leak out of the blood vessels and inserts itself directly into the blood vessel wall. The blood courses between layers of the vessel wall, separating the tissues that form the lining of the artery. This results in a hematoma or an aneurysm of the blood vessel wall. Both processes create thrombi, emboli, narrowing of the vessel, and pressure against surrounding structures. As such, the dissection of the carotid artery is a cause of ischemic stroke. The dissection usually stops spontaneously.

Current Knowledge

The incidence of symptomatic spontaneous internal carotid artery dissection is estimated to be approximately 3 per 100,000, although the actual incidence may be higher because some dissections are asymptomatic or remain undiagnosed. Carotid artery dissection is usually spontaneous, but some result from blunt trauma. At times, there is a precipitating event such as sports injuries or direct manipulation of...

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References and Reading

  1. Schievink, W. I. (2001). Spontaneous dissection of the carotid and vertebral arteries. New England Journal of Medicine, 344, 898–906.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationNorthwestern University, Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA