Chiropractic associated vertebral artery dissection: An analysis of 34 patients amongst a cohort of 310

Akash Mitra, Hooman A. Azad, Nikil Prasad, Nathan A. Shlobin, Michael B. Cloney, Benjamin S. Hopkins, Babak S. Jahromi, Matthew B. Potts, Nader S. Dahdaleh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Vertebral artery dissections (VAD) are a rare but important cause of ischemic stroke, especially in younger patients. Many etiologies have been identified, including MVAs, cervical fractures, falls, physical exercise, and cervical chiropractic manipulation. The goal of this study was to investigate the subgroup of patients who suffered a chiropractor-associated injury and determine how their prognosis compared to other-cause VAD. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 310 patients with vertebral artery dissections who presented at our institution between January 2004 and December 2018. Variables included demographic data, event characteristics, treatment, radiographic outcomes, and clinical outcomes measured using the modified Rankin Scale. Findings: Overall, 34 out of our 310 patients suffered a chiropractor-associated injury. These patients tended to be younger (p = 0.01), female (p = 0.003), and have fewer comorbidities (p = 0.005) compared to patients with other-cause VADs. The characteristics of the injuries were similar, but chiropractor-associated injuries appeared to be milder at discharge and at follow-up. A higher proportion of the chiropractor-associated group had injuries in the 0–2 mRS range at discharge and at 3 months (p = 0.05, p = 0.04) and no patients suffered severe long-term neurologic consequences or death (0% vs. 9.8%, p = 0.05). However, when a multivariate binomial regression was performed, these effects dissipated and the only independent predictor of a worse injury at discharge was the presence of a cervical spine fracture (p < 0.001). Interpretation: Chiropractor-associated injuries are similar to VADs of other causes, and apparent differences in the severity of the injury are likely due to demographic differences between the two populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106665
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Volume206
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Chiropractic associated vertebral artery dissection: An analysis of 34 patients amongst a cohort of 310'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this