What is the role of duplex ultrasonography in the workup of 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

Duplex ultrasonography of the vertebral arteries demonstrates abnormal flow in 95% of patients with vertebral artery dissection (VAD). [8]

Ultrasonographic signs specific to VAD (eg, segmental dilation of the vessel, eccentric channel) are detectable in only 20% of patients. Thus, ultrasonography may be useful as an initial test only if computed tomography angiography (CTA) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) are not readily available.


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