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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection Presenting as Trigeminal Neuralgia in the Emergency Department

  • Author(s): Look, Robert
  • Terlau, Thomas J.
  • Misek, Ryan
  • et al.

Introduction: Carotid artery dissection (CAD) is a critical diagnosis in the emergency department (ED). Trigeminal neuralgia, while not uncommon, may cause the patient significant discomfort but generally is not attributed to severe morbidity and mortality.

Case Report: We present a case of spontaneous CAD presenting with the classic intermittent “lightning-like” jaw and head pain suggestive of trigeminal neuralgia that was ultimately diagnosed utilizing computed tomography angiogram after multiple visits to the ED.

Discussion: Coincidentally the patient had been started on anticoagulation a few days prior and no additional intervention was required.

Conclusion: This case report discusses current recommendations for diagnosis, treatment, and long-term prognosis of CAD.

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