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Dr. Schiffman is a clinical associate professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.
A craniocervical arterial dissection usually results from a tear in the intimal arterial layer. This tear allows the formation of a false lumen containing a clot, which can lead to thromboembolic complications (stroke). If the dissection is subintimal, stenosis of the artery is the likely end result. If it is subadventitial, the result is a "pseudo-aneurysm" (Figure 1).