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 answers • 3 doctors weighed in
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?
4488 viewsReviewed >2 years ago
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).
3653 viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Last updated Aug 12, 2018
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
$15 per month
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.