Vertebral Artery Dissections With Concurrent Intracranial Hemorrhage: A Case Series of 13 Patients Among a Cohort of 301

Akash Mitra, Nathan A. Shlobin, Hooman A. Azad, Nikil Prasad, Matthew B. Potts, Nader S. Dahdaleh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Vertebral artery dissections (VADs) are a rare cause of ischemic stroke that can occasionally lead to intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). This study aims to identify differences in predisposing factors, event characteristics, and outcomes between patients with only a VAD and patients with VAD and concomitant ICH. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 301 patients who presented with VADs at our institution from 2004–2018. A total of 13 patients were identified with VAD and concomitant ICH. Data were collected on demographics, event characteristics, treatments, and neurologic outcomes, measured using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). Results: VAD+ICH and VAD-only groups were similar in terms of age, sex, and recorded comorbidities. Additionally, etiology of the dissections did not seem to vary between groups (P = 0.6), even when selecting for traumatic causes such as motor vehicle accidents (P = 0.22) and violence (P = 0.25). Concomitant strokes and aneurysms/pseudoaneurysms occurred in similar proportions as well, but cervical fractures were more common in the VAD+ICH group (P = 0.003). Using the mRS as a measure of neurological outcome, we found that the VAD+ICH group had worse neurologic function at discharge, 3-month follow-up, and last follow-up (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Patients who experienced an ICH in addition to a VAD did not have any identifiable risk factors. Cervical spine fractures were more common in patients with VAD and ICH. VAD patients with a concomitant ICH have worse neurologic outcomes than patients with only a VAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1128-e1133
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Dissection
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Spine
  • Subarachnoid
  • Vertebral artery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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