What are the signs of ischemia in patients with vertebral artery dissection (VAD)?

Updated: Feb 21, 2019
  • Author: Eddy S Lang, MDCM, CCFP(EM), CSPQ; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Depending upon which areas of the brainstem or cerebellum are experiencing ischemia, the following signs may be present:

  • Limb or truncal ataxia

  • Nystagmus [3]

  • Ipsilateral Horner syndrome [4, 5]

  • Ipsilateral hypogeusia or ageusia (ie, diminished or absent sense of taste)

  • Ipsilateral impairment of fine touch and proprioception

  • Contralateral impairment of pain and thermal sensation in the extremities (ie, spinothalamic tract)

  • Lateral medullary syndrome [6]


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