U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
Lexington, VA
A 45-year-old female asked:

with vertebral artery dissection, are neurological symptoms always contralateral, or can they happen on the same side as the dissection?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kornelis Poelstra
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 24 years experience
Vertebral artery: ...Dissection is a rare condition / trauma. Often there are just intimal tears (or disruptions on the inside layer of the vessel) and only seldomly is there a true dissection. Symptoms can vary greatly b/w patients, but contra-lateral symptoms are not common. It has to do with the bloodvessel ring at the base of the brain that typically connects the left-and-right sides together. U have more info?
Dr. Mark Fisher
Neurology 34 years experience
Not the DISSECTION: It's vascular occlusion from any cause, not just dissection, that does the damage. Here's why not always contralateral: 1. VAs unite to form the basilar artery so thrombi/emboli don't stay on just one side; 2. The brainstem contains some structures e.g. cranial nerves whose outflow doesn't cross & others that double-cross; 3. If the damage is caudal to the decussation of the pyramids (rare).

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits
$15 per month

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits
$15 per month
Last updated Aug 12, 2018
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits
$15 per month

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.