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Mil Med. 2013 Jan;178(1):e141-5. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-12-00133.

Traumatic carotid artery dissection.

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Army Physical Fitness Research Institute, U.S. Army War College, Command and General Staff College Annex, 250 Gibbon Avenue, Eisenhower Hall, Room 162, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-1352, USA.


Traumatic carotid artery dissections are uncommon and potentially devastating injuries that often have a delayed presentation. Soldiers often engage in leisure, training, and combat activities that place them at risk for sustaining an injury that causes a carotid artery dissection. To compound matters, spontaneous dissections are being more frequently recognized as well. Clinicians must be thorough in their history taking and maintain an elevated level of suspicion for this injury when presented with neurologic symptoms suggestive of head and neck pathology. This case study illustrates the difficulties encountered in arriving at a timely, correct diagnosis and offers treatment plan options. We hope that this case study will facilitate the early recognition and treatment of carotid artery dissections in the future.

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