- If the inner lining (intima) of an artery tears, spontaneously or due to trauma), blood can travel into the wall of the artery. This dissection can block the artery or be a source of embolism (see image below).
- Dissection can affect the aorta, carotid or vertebral arteries
- Dissection of the aorta or vertebrals can lead to massive haemorrhage into the chest or subarachnoid space respectively
- Bleeding is very unusual after carotid dissection
- Common carotid artery
- “Intima” i.e. arterial lining
- Internal carotid artery
- External carotid artery
- blood clot in the wall of the artery causing narrowing
- Tear in intima raising a flap
- narrowing may worsen to completely block artery
- clot may form on tear and then embolise to brain.