Bilateral internal carotid artery dissection in the postpartum period

Francis I. Baffour, Kathryn F. Kirchoff-Torres, Francine H. Einstein, Scarlett Karakash, Todd S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Bilateral internal carotid artery dissection is a rare event associated with pregnancy, especially in a patient without any predisposing risk factors. CASE: A 34-year-old woman presented with postpartum unilateral weakness, headaches, and blurry vision 14 days after vaginal delivery. Radiologic imaging revealed bilateral cervical internal carotid artery dissections and cerebral infarctions. She was treated with anticoagulation and showed radiographic and clinical improvement. CONCLUSION: The pathophysiology of cervical artery dissection appears multifactorial, with evidence suggesting environmental and genetic contributions. Intimal injury related to the Valsalva maneuver during labor as well as hemodynamic and hormonal changes related to pregnancy are presumed causes of peripartum spontaneous carotid artery dissection. Antithrombotic therapy for at least 3 to 6 months after dissection and follow-up neuroimaging are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-492
Number of pages4
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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