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Abstract Details

Blunt Traumatic Cerebrovascular Injury and Stroke: The Need for a High Index of Suspicion when Initial Vascular Imaging is Negative - A Single Center Case Series.
Cerebrovascular Disease and Interventional Neurology
P14 - Poster Session 14 (11:45 AM-12:45 PM)

Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) from traumatic cerebrovascular injury (TCVI) leads to approximately 4800 US strokes annually; often as sequelae of cervical arterial dissection. CT angiography (CTA) is typically used for screening, but this modality has limitations of low sensitivity, particularly for low-grade dissections. Our case series illustrates the importance of high index of suspicion in trauma patients to pursue further vessel imaging when there is unexplained AIS. 

Case series. 

Our series consists of 2 patients admitted to Trauma ICU following motor vehicle collisions. The 1st patient was a 22-year-old woman with left precentral gyrus infarction on diffusion-weighted MRI. Initial CTA showed dissection of cervical right internal carotid artery (ICA) which did not explain her infarction. Echocardiogram was also unrevealing so digital subtraction angiography was pursued, which revealed dissection of the left supraclinoid ICA not seen on CTA. The 2nd patient was a 15-year-old man with bilateral frontal infarctions on diffusion-weighted MRI. His initial CTA showed dissection of cervical left ICA. There was no explanation for his right frontal infarction on further workup so CTA was repeated after 4 days, which showed additional dissection involving the right cervical ICA not seen initially. Etiology of AIS in both cases was unexplained initially but repeat or alternate imaging helped unveil previously undetected ipsilateral dissections. 

Undetected traumatic dissection can result in devastating neurologic sequelae including further strokes and worsening dissection. It can also lead to unnecessary workup such as thrombophilia testing in younger patients. These patients are often hidden from the view of neurologists as they are typically managed by trauma surgeons and literature regarding TCVI is predominantly in surgical journals. We hope to increase awareness and emphasize the importance of a high index of suspicion to pursue further vessel imaging in unexplained stroke so that appropriate treatment can be initiated rapidly.

Ahmer Asif, MD
Dr. Asif has nothing to disclose.
Sara Habib, MD, MBBS (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School) Dr. Habib has nothing to disclose.
Danny Samkutty, MD (OU Health) Dr. Samkutty has nothing to disclose.