On February 12, at the International Stroke Conference (ISC 2015) in Nashville, USA), the findings of a Stroke Association funded study were presented, called CADISS (Cervical Artery Dissection In Stroke Study).
A cervical (carotid or vertebral) artery dissection is a separation of the layers of blood vessel walls in key arteries of the neck which supply the brain.
It is estimated to be responsible for 10-25% of strokes in young to middle aged people, and has been associated with a high rate of recurrent stroke.
In the CADISS study, Professor Hugh Markus led an international trial comparing the effects of treatment of this condition with the antiplatelet drugs aspirin and warfarin, when given within 7 days of stroke symptoms. This is the first randomized treatment trial for this condition.
The main finding was that the rate of death or new strokes within three months was similar in the 126 patients who received antiplatelet drugs and the 124 taking anti-clotting medications. In addition, the study showed that the overall risk of stroke recurrence in patients with this condition was far lower than has previously been reported.