The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of color Doppler sonography (CDS) in the diagnosis of extracranial vertebral artery dissections (EVADs). One hundred and fifty consecutive patients (age range 21-51years, mean 44years) with a clinical suspicion of vertebral artery dissection (VAD) were included in this study. All patients underwent CDS of vertebral arteries as the first-line imaging modality. Cervical T1-weighted fat-saturated axial MR images served as the gold standard. Of the 150 patients with a clinical suspicion of VAD, 27 patients were ultimately diagnosed with EVADs based on fat-saturated T1-weighted MR imaging. MR imaging was considered positive when crescentic hyperintensity (methemoglobin signal) was demonstrated at the wall of the vertebral artery. CDS was positive in 21 of these 27 patients and revealed either intramural hematoma or a dissecting membrane with two lumina. The most frequent site of involvement was the V1 to proximal V2 segment. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of CDS in the diagnosis of EVADs were 77.8, 98.4, 91.3, and 95.3%, respectively. CDS is a reliable diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of EVADs.