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JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGICAL SCIENCES
A Journal on Neurosurgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: e-psyche, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Neuroscience Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,651
Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2000 June;44(2):103-6
Fatal carotid dissection after blunt head trauma
Tartara F., Regolo P., Servadei F., Versari P. P., Giovanelli M.
Division of Neurosurgery, and Divisional Neurotraumatology, M. Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy, IRCCS S. Raffaele Hospital, University of Milan, Italy
Occurrence of internal carotid artery injuries associated with skull base fracture has been reported. A. report a case of fatal intracranial carotid dissection related to petrous fracture involving the carotid canal. Identification of carotid lesions may be difficult and generally related to appearance of unexpected neurological deficit. Skull base fractures may be considered an indirect sign for detection of vascular injury. Patterns of the fracture are of paramount importance; routine CT scan may fail to detect basilar fractures and high definition fine-cut CT scan should be executed to carefully identify and evaluate fractures. Temporal and sphenoid bone fractures are common in head trauma and involvement of the course of the carotid artery is frequent. The involvement of the intracranial carotid artery course represents a direct risk factor for lesions of the petrous, lacerum and cavernous segments of the carotid artery. Early diagnosis of post-traumatic vascular injury may lead to prognosis improvement because of effectiveness of heparin anticoagulant therapy. Then vascular screening is recommendable in cases with complex fractures of the skull base and particularly fracturing along the course of the carotid artery. Magnetic resonance angiography may be considered the first line diagnostic tools for vascular screening. Angiography may be reserved for patients with a proven lesion or rapid neurological deterioration taking into account the possibility of interventional treatment.