Vertebral Artery Dissection Mimicking Migraine: A Case Report

*Corresponding author: Rahalkar Kshitij*, Hong K. Lau and R Ponampalam


Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) is caused by an intimal tear that leads to bleeding into the vascular wall, which may cause vascular occlusion by thrombus formation and subsequent distal emboli (leading to ischemic stroke), aneurysm formation and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Cervical artery dissections (either carotid or vertebral artery dissection) are an important cause of stroke in patients under 50-years of age. Headache with or without neck pain is a common symptom. Usually, it occurs with focal neurological signs but sometimes it may occur without any neurological deficits and may mimic migraine. Often it occurs spontaneously without trauma but sometimes there is history of minor traumas, sudden neck movements or chiropractic manipulation. Imaging modalities include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and computed tomography angiography (CTA). Treatment involves anticoagulation or antiplatelet agents.
Vertebral artery dissection; Migraine; Headache; Neck pain.