Injury of the vertebral artery after closed head trauma.

F. Della Corte, A. Caricato, A. Pennisi Mariano, F. Pappalardo, O. Piazza, M. Rollo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two case reports characterized by the complete occlusion of the basilar artery, secondary to dissection of the vertebral artery after closed head trauma are described. These lesions, often clinically silent in the beginning, were able to cause severe neurologic impairment, even after minor head trauma in healthy individuals without predisposing structural disorders. Early detection, based upon the knowledge of the modality of the trauma and upon a correct diagnostic approach, is mandatory to reduce secondary injury. The authors suggest an extensive use of cerebral angiography or angio-magnetic resonance in all cases where clinical conditions are more severe than the computed tomography scan, particularly if the trauma produced a cervical injury with a movement of flexo-extension of the neck. Therapeutic management is discussed. Anti-coagulants, thrombolytic agents or surgical ligation of the vessel has been proposed to prevent the extension of the lesion and to improve the outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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