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Stroke – Causes – Dissection

February 13, 2022


Among some less common but important causes of stroke is something called a dissection. This is a type of or cause of stroke that is much more common in young people. Amongst the most common causes of stroke in young people, in fact. And a dissection is where the artery, and it could be any of the major arteries going up into the brain, gets injured or torn from trauma. And what happens is you can think of the arteries having multiple layers and there’s the outside layer and the inner layer. And what’ll happen is the inner layer from the trauma gets torn up and that exposes this basement that should never be exposed to blood and blood clots can form on that. And then the blood clots can go up into the brain and cause strokes. That’s an important thing to recognize. And again, this is something we see in young people often proceeded by trauma. And I can give you a good example of a patient I saw not too long ago who was a hockey player and was involved in an active hockey game the night before. Came home and often when you have a dissection, there’s some pain. and the next day had a stroke related to a torn artery. And we can talk about the treatment of that a little bit later, but it does involve more aggressive blood thinners for approximately three months.

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