Traumatic Cervical Vertebral Artery Transection Associated with a Dural Tear Leading to Subarachnoid Extravasation

Baerlocher, Mark O.; Zakrison, Tanya L.; Tien, Homer; Aviv, Richard I.; Symons, Sean P.
February 2009
European Journal of Trauma & Emergency Surgery;Feb2009, Vol. 35 Issue 1, p67
Academic Journal
Vertebral artery injuries can be seen following trauma. Most traumatic vertebral artery injuries are limited to an intimal dissection. Rarely, transection of the vertebral artery can be seen with extravasation of hemorrhage into the surrounding soft tissues of the neck. Dural tears are rare in the setting of trauma. They are usually the result of penetrating trauma or severe blunt trauma. We present a case with both a vertebral artery transection and a dural tear. The combination of these lethal injuries resulted in extravasation of hemorrhage into the soft tissues of the neck, through the dural tear, and into the subarachnoid space of the cervical spine. The subarachnoid hemorrhage extended superiorly into the brain. The diagnosis was made by computed tomography (CT) and computed tomography angiography (CTA). The treatment of traumatic vertebral artery transections and dural tears are discussed.


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