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Eur Neurol. 2010;64(4):214-8. doi: 10.1159/000319043. Epub 2010 Aug 18.

Late sequelae of whiplash injury with dissection of cervical arteries.

Author information

1
Department of Neurorehabilitation, Clinic Valens, Valens, Switzerland. vital.hauser.1@bluewin.ch

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

The objective of our study was to estimate the incidence of posttraumatic dissections of cervical arteries in patients with whiplash injury acquired in a car accident.

METHODS AND PATIENTS:

We performed a retrospective analysis of medical records of 500 patients with whiplash injury acquired in car accidents between 1996 and 2005 and searched for dissections of cervical arteries occurring within 12 months after injury.

RESULTS:

Eight cases of cervical arterial dissection occurred within 12 months following whiplash injury. In 7 cases (87.5%), the dissection was complicated by brain infarction. The incidence of posttraumatic dissections after whiplash injuries was much higher than the overall incidence of cervical arterial dissections in the general population (1.6 vs. 0.0041%). The risk of cerebrovascular events was still increased 4-12 months after whiplash injury (0.6 vs. 0.003075% in the general population).

CONCLUSIONS:

There is an increased risk of posttraumatic dissection and cerebrovascular events within 12 months after whiplash injury. Car accident is an important risk factor for arterial dissections. The victims of car accidents should be screened for arterial dissections. The results of this study should be more thoroughly investigated in a prospective trial of car accident victims as a risk factor for arterial dissections.

PMID:
20720428
DOI:
10.1159/000319043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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