Traumatic dissection of the common carotid artery after blunt injury to the neck

Surgical Neurology
Y OkadaR Kagawa


Occlusive lesions of the common carotid artery (CCA) resulting from blunt injury are extremely rare, and their clinicopathologic and therapeutic features have not yet been clarified. Five patients with occlusive lesions of the CCA developed neurologic deficits at 1.5 hours to 10 years after blunt neck injury. Lesions included two complete occlusions, one severe stenosis, and two segmental intimal dissections of the CCA. In the two patients with CCA occlusion, bypass surgery was performed using a Dacron graft between the ipsilateral subclavian artery and the carotid bifurcation. In the remaining three patients, the involved segments were replaced with a Dacron graft. Surgical specimens from the early posttraumatic period revealed intimal tears with mural thrombosis and/or subintimal hematomas and those from the later period showed myointimal hyperplasia or fibrotic organization. Traumatic occlusive lesions of the CCA tend to evolve from intimal dissections to severe stenoses or occlusion, compromising cerebral circulation. The involved CCA can be diagnosed early by B-mode Doppler sonography and successfully reconstructed using a Dacron graft.


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