The beauty parlor stroke syndrome refers to neurological findings following hyperextension of the neck.

Scenario: The original association was seen in patients have hair shampooing in a beauty salon with the patient supine and the head placed posteriorly to allow hair rinsing in a sink, often with head rotation.


Mechanism: hyperextension of the neck results in compression of the vertebral artery between the occiput and vertebral arc of the atlas. This results in ischemia in the posterior circulation.

Alternatively, some patients may have acute arterial dissection or dislodgement of an atheroembolus from the vertebrobasilar arteries.


Evaluation of the patient may show a predisposing factor (osteophyte of the atlas, hypoplasia in a branch of the vertebral or basilar arteries).


The typical patient is >= 50 years of age.


Clinical features may include:

(1) dizziness and vertigo

(2) nausea and vomiting

(3) nystagmus

(4) ataxia

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