How common is vertebral artery dissection (VAD) in the US?

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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Dissections of the extracranial cervical arteries are relatively rare. The combined incidence of both verterbral artery dissection (VAD) and carotid artery dissection (CAD) is estimated to be 2.6 per 100,000. However, cervical dissections are the underlying etiology in as many as 20% of the ischemic strokes presenting in younger patients aged 30-45 years. Among all extracranial cervical artery dissections, CAD is 3-5 times more common than VAD. [1]

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