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Vertebral artery injury after cervical spine trauma: A prospective study using computed tomographic angiography

BACKGROUND: Although the vertebral artery injuries (VAI) associated with cervical spine trauma are usually clinically occult, they may cause fatal ischemic damage to the brain stem and cerebellum. METHODS: We performed a prospective study using computed tomographic angiography (CTA) to determine the frequency of VAI associated with cervical spine injuries and investigate the clinical and radiological characteristics. Between January 2005 and August 2007, 99 consecutive patients with cervical spine fractures and/or dislocations were prospectively evaluated for patency of the VA, using the CTA, at the time of injury. RESULTS: Complete disruption of blood flow through the VA was demonstrated in seven patients with unilateral occlusion (7.1%). There were four men and three women with a mean age of 43 (range, 33-55 years). Unilateral occlusion of the right vertebral artery occurred in four patients and of the left in three. Regarding the cervical injury type, two cases were cervical burst fractures (C6 and C7), two had C4-5 fracture/dislocations, two had a unilateral transverse foraminal fracture, and one had dens type III fracture. All patients presented with good patency of the contralateral VA. None of the patients developed secondary neurological deterioration due to vertebrobasilar ischemia during the follow-up period with a mean duration of 23 months. CONCLUSIONS: VAI should be suspected in patients with cervical trauma that have cervical spine fractures and/or dislocations or transverse foramen fractures. CTA was useful as a rapid diagnostic method for ruling out VAI after cervical spine trauma

Keywords : Angiography,Arteries,blood,Brain,Brain Stem,Cerebellum,injuries,Ischemia,Korea,methods,Neurosurgery,Patients,Prospective Studies,Republic of Korea,secondary,Spine,Time,Universities,Vertebral Artery,, Artery,Injury,After,Cervical,Spine, pelvic floor specialist london

Date of Publication : 2011 Mar 23

Authors : Jang JW;Lee JK;Hur H;Seo BR;Lee JH;Kim SH;

Organisation : Department of Neurosurgery, Chonnam National University Medical School and Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Gwangju, Republic of Korea

Journal of Publication : Surg Neurol Int

Pubmed Link : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21541205

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