Clinical Characteristics, Course, and Outcomes of Vertebral Artery Dissections in the Postpartum Period; a Pooled Analysis of Published Case Reports
Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine,
Vol. 11 No. 1 (2023),
Introduction: Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) is a rare, but life-threatening condition. Compared to the general population, pregnant and postpartum women are more likely to develop VAD. Spontaneous arterial dissections have an ambiguous pathophysiology and may be difficult to manage. This study aimed to pool and analyze the data of published cases in this regard.
Methods: We conducted a literature search on February 24, 2022, using MeSH terms of interest in PubMed, Google Scholar, Ovid, Web of Science, and Scopus databases to find studies on VAD following childbirth.
Results: A total of 28 studies were included in this review based on a database search. In the studies, 44 postpartum VAD (PPVAD) patients with a mean age of 34.26 ± 3.5 years were included. It took an average of 24.37± 13.7 days from delivery to dissection. 64% of the patients had developed unilateral dissection and 36% had developed bilateral dissection; 70% reported full recovery, and 9% did not achieve full recovery. The most common symptoms were headaches (89%), neck pain (64%), and hypertension (52%). The most common methods of diagnosis were magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (64%) and computed tomography (CT) angiography (CTA) scan (66%). Only 8 (18%) cases reported the use of electrocardiography (ECG). The recorded outcomes of the patients with unilateral and bilateral postpartum VAD showed no statistical difference. Most of the included studies recommend early suspension and management for a better prognosis and prevention of complications.
Conclusion: PPVAD is a severe medical condition but most cases were fully recovered after an early and proper antithrombotic plan for each case scenario.
- Vertebral artery
- vertebrobasilar insufficiency
- postpartum period
- vertebral artery dissection
How to Cite
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