Vertebral Artery Dissection and Migraine Headaches in Children


Vertebral Artery Dissection and Migraine Headaches in Children

Lotze TE, Paolicchi J

Department of Pediatric Neurology,
Columbus Children’s Hospital,
Ohio 43205, USA

Strokes of the posterior circulation are uncommon in childhood. In vertebrobasilar insults, vertebral artery dissection remains a rare diagnosis. We report the case of an 8-year-old boy with a history of migraine headaches who presented with acute cerebellar signs and agitation following multiple infarctions of bilateral cerebellar hemispheres. Vertebral angiography demonstrated dissection of the left vertebral artery with occlusion of the basilar artery just distal to its origin.

Risk factors for vertebral artery dissection are reviewed, with emphasis on association with migraine headaches. A review of imaging studies for the diagnosis of dissection is also presented. This case demonstrates the importance of considering arterial wall dissection in pediatric patients with a history of atypical migraines associated with new neurologic findings.