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Spontaneous cervical artery dissection in patients aged over 70 years: two cases and systematic literature review

Authors Riou-Comte N, Mione G, Humbertjean L, Ottenin MA, Lacour JC, Richard S

Received 6 April 2017

Accepted for publication 21 June 2017

Published 26 August 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1355—1362

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S138980

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Nolwenn Riou-Comte,1 Gioia Mione,1 Lisa Humbertjean,1 Marie-Alexia Ottenin,2 Jean-Christophe Lacour,1 Sébastien Richard1,3

1Department of Neurology, Stroke Unit, University Hospital of Nancy, Nancy Cedex, France; 2Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital of Nancy, Nancy Cedex, France; 3Centre d’Invesigation Clinique Plurithématique Pierre Drouin CIC-P 1433 INSERM U1116, University Hospital of Nancy, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France

Objective: Spontaneous cervical artery dissection (CAD) is a cerebrovascular disease typically considered to affect the young population. Literature reports cases in the elderly only as incidental findings, making the diagnosis unlikely in older patients. Incidence and pathogeny in this specific population remain to be assessed.
Methods: We reviewed patients aged over 70 years admitted for spontaneous CAD in the Stroke Unit of the University Hospital of Nancy (northeastern France) over a period of 12 years as well as all reported cases in literature.
Results: During this period, only two patients aged over 70 years were diagnosed with internal carotid artery dissection in our center. The first patient was diagnosed with the typical radiological feature of long tapered stenosis due to mural hematoma. The second patient presented with the classic painful Horner syndrome. Literature review identified only two case reports and eight studies with an age range above 70 years. Headache was present in nearly all documented cases. Radiological features were the same as those usually described in younger patients.
Conclusions: Even if spontaneous CAD in patients aged over 70 years would appear to be rare, it does occur with comparable clinical and radiological features as in the younger population. CAD is probably underdiagnosed in this population due to a higher prevalence of more common causes of stroke at this age. However, a simple investigation into headache or the Horner syndrome during the patient’s diagnostic workup would lead to adapted exploration of cervical arteries and improve detection of CAD in the elderly.

Keywords: cerebral infarction, elderly, false aneurysm, Horner syndrome, old patients, spontaneous cervical artery dissection
 

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