Introduction: Imaging characteristics and prognosis on the follow-up imaging in patients with acute cervicocerebral artery dissection are not well established.
Hypothesis: Initial lesion patterns on early vascular imaging would predict vascular imaging outcomes in acute cervicocerebral artery dissection.
Methods: Individual clinical data and imaging features were obtained from 167 consecutive patients who presented with acute ischemic symptoms or headache due to cervicocerebral artery dissection. Patients were categorized according to their baseline vascular imaging features as either Stenosis Only, Aneurysm Only, or Both Stenosis and Aneurysm. The angiographic characteristics and improvements of early vascular lesions between baseline (within 7 days after symptoms onset) and follow-up vascular images (6-month or 1-year after symptom onset) were compared.
Results: A total of 76 patients who underwent baseline and 6-month or 1-year vascular imaging were included. Patients in the Stenosis Only group (n=36) were younger (mean age, 45±11) than those in the Aneurysm Only (n=9, 55±7) and Both Stenosis and Aneurysm (n=31, 48±12) groups (p=0.044). The most common sites of lesions were the distal vertebral artery and posterior inferior cerebellar artery (n=43, 57%). All patients in Aneurysm Only group had their lesions in the posterior circulation (61% in Stenosis Only, 77% in Both Stenosis and Aneurysm; p=0.047). A total of 43 patients (57%) showed improvement of initial lesions on follow-up vascular images (58% in Stenosis Only vs. 22% in Aneurysm Only vs. 65% in Both Stenosis and Aneurysm; p=0.076). The proportion of patients who obtained improvements on follow-up vascular images on baseline images was lower in Aneurysm Only compared with groups with stenosis (Stenosis Only and Both Stenosis and Aneurysm) (Odds ratio 0.18, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.94; p=0.035).
Conclusions: Complete or partial improvements on follow-up images are obtained in over half of the patients with acute cervicocerebral artery dissection. Patients with only aneurysm on early images showed poor imaging prognosis compared to patients with stenosis.