When should spontaneous internal carotid artery dissection be included in the differential diagnosis of migraine headache?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Spontaneous internal carotid artery dissection is an uncommon cause of headache and acute neurologic deficit, but it must be considered in younger patients who have unilateral, severe, persistent head pain of sudden onset preceding the development of neurologic signs, most commonly Horner syndrome. This differentiates spontaneous from posttraumatic cases, in which cerebral ischemic symptoms are more common.


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