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Childs Nerv Syst. 2011 Jul;27(7):1169-75. doi: 10.1007/s00381-011-1426-9. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Posttraumatic cerebral infarction due to progressive occlusion of the internal carotid artery after minor head injury in childhood: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Ehime Prefectural Central Hospital, Ehime, 790-0024, Japan.



Although minor head injury in childhood is a common occurrence and usually no complications, posttraumatic cerebral infarction has rarely been reported. Such infarction is characterized by occlusion of the lateral lenticulostriate artery. The authors report an atypical case of posttraumatic occlusion of the internal carotid artery (ICA) after minor head injury in childhood.


A healthy 16-year-old boy was hit on the head by a pitch while playing baseball. He developed a transient ischemic attack involving the left extremities 15 min after the accident. Initial magnetic resonance imaging revealed neither hemorrhage nor infarction, and MR angiography demonstrated mild stenosis of the right carotid fork. Conservative therapy was started. However, 24 h after the accident, he suddenly developed left hemiparesis. Emergent neuroimaging demonstrated progressive occlusion of the supraclinoid portion of the right ICA and cerebral infarction of the deep white matter in the right frontal lobe. The hemiparesis deteriorated and the infarction area continued to expand on a daily. The patient underwent emergent superficial temporally artery-middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass. Intraoperative observation demonstrated that the supraclinoid portion of the right ICA was not thrombosed but pale with low tension and did not appear dissected. He fully recovered by 2 weeks after the operation. Postoperative investigations showed gradual improvement of the ICA occlusion.


Minor head injury can cause cerebral infarction in childhood, although this is rare. If conservative therapy cannot prevent progressive cerebral infarction, STA-MCA bypass should be considered in case of the ICA occlusion.

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