Neck hematoma caused by spontaneous common carotid artery rupture

The Laryngoscope
Dimitar Dimitrov PazardzhiklievDrago Dragov Zhelev


We present a case of an 83-year-old male without previous history who presented with a cervical hematoma, initially misdiagnosed as a neck phlegmona. In the course of the diagnostic workup, the hematoma enlarged, thereby causing respiratory distress because of upper airway compromise. The endotracheal intubation was lifesaving. Later, contrast enhanced computed tomography revealed hematoma in the region of the left common carotid artery. Emergency surgery evacuated the hematoma and repaired a slit-like defect of the left common carotid 2 cm before bifurcation. The patient was discharged on the seventh postoperative day in good condition. We discuss four aspects of the case, namely, the rarity of the condition and the variety of causes, the diagnostic and treatment strategy, the uncertain reasons for spontaneous ruptures of the carotid, and the operative techniques for hematoma evacuation and definitive hemostasis. The optimal strategy for cases of cervical hematoma is the following: intubation, diagnosis, and surgery.


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Common Carotid Artery
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