Arteria vertebralis Dissection | Vertebral artery

Arteria vertebralis Dissection

The dissection of an artery refers to the splitting of the inner vessel wall (intima). As a result, bleeding can occur between the intima and the media (middle vessel wall). This leads to a constriction (stenosis) or, in the worst case, to complete closure of the vessel with circulatory problems in the affected area of the brain.

Vertebralis dissection mainly affects young adults and can occur spontaneously or, for example, in a car accident. The main symptom of vertebralisdissection is headache at the back of the head. It can also lead to nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Anticoagulants are usually used as therapy and must be taken over a relatively long period (6-12 months depending on the remedy). In rare cases, surgery and possibly the insertion of a stent into the vessel are necessary.


Various mechanisms can lead to the occlusion of the arteria vertebralis. One mechanism is, for example, dissection, which has already been mentioned above. In general, infarcts (= vascular occlusions) in the area of the arteria vertebralis and basilaris are rare.

Mostly they are the result of arteriosclerosis in other vessels. There, material of the vessel wall can become detached and be washed into the arteria vertebralis as an embolus (vessel plug). The symptoms are similar to those of arteria vertebralis syndrome.