Introduction: The features of vascular images and risk factors might be different according to the location of the cervicocerebral artery dissection.
Hypothesis: We investigate whether the risk factors, neuroimaging features, and imaging outcomes differ according to the dissection site (anterior vs. posterior circulation).
Methods: Consecutive patients who presented with ischemic symptoms and underwent brain vascular imaging within seven days after the onset of symptoms were enrolled. Demographic characteristics, putative risk factors, imaging findings, and types of antithrombotic medication were assessed between anterior circulation dissection (ACD) and posterior circulation dissection (PCD). The baseline and follow-up vascular images (6 months or 1 year after the onset of symptoms) were compared to determine the prognostic difference in the reverse of the lesion.
Results: A total of 117 patients (n=32 with ACD and n=85 with PCD) were eligible for these analysis. The median delay from symptom onset to baseline vascular imaging was a day (IQR 1, 2). Patients with PCD were older (OR=1.5 by increasing 10 years old [1.02-2.03], p=0.038) and had a dissection associated with exercise or neck manipulation more frequently (OR=4.8 [1.2-18.1], p=0.019) compared to patients with ACD. Arterial stenosis or occlusion was the most common imaging feature (94% in ACD vs. 86% in PCD, p= 0.345). Aneurysm or pseudoaneurysm was identified in 9.4% of ACD and 24.7% of PCD (p=0.067). Among patients with PCD, vertebral artery was the most common lesion site (65% [53-74%]). The complete reverse on the follow-up images at the 6 months or 1 year was identified in 9 patients with ACD and 11 patients with PCD (45% vs. 22%, p=0.054). Neither anticoagulation nor antiplatelet demonstrated significant differences between the frequency of the complete reverse on the follow-up vascular images in patients with ACD and PCD (33% vs. 21%, p=0.613 for anticoagulation; 44% vs. 23%, p=0.087 for antiplatelet).
Conclusions: These results substantiate the difference in the risk factors and radiologic features according to the dissection site. There was no difference in efficacy of antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs at complete reverse of the lesion after cervicocerebral artery dissection.