Benign arterial dissections of the posterior circulation

E. Pozzati, R. Padovani, A. Fabrizi, L. Sabattini, G. Gaist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four young adults with spontaneous dissection of the vertebrobasilar system are reported. Clinically, two patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage and two with brain-stem ischemia. In two cases of ruptured arterial dissection of the posterior cerebral artery, angiography demonstrated fusiform and 'sausage-like' dilatation of the involved vessel. In two cases of occlusive dissection of the basilar artery, angiography revealed the typical 'string sign.' All four patients were treated conservatively: three survive in good clinical condition and one remains disabled. Follow-up angiograms showed spontaneous healing of the lesion with return to an almost normal arterial configuration in two cases; residual narrowing corresponding to the dissection was the most notable finding in the other two. It is recommended that, in a subset of neurologically stable patients, angiographic monitoring is undertaken to assess the tendency for spontaneous repair before surgical intervention is planned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-72
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • aneurysm, dissecting
  • ischemia
  • posterior circulation
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • vertebrobasilar system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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