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Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2014;54(5):379-86. Epub 2013 Dec 27.

Factors associated with blunt cerebrovascular injury in patients with cervical spine injury.

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Department of Cerebrovascular Surgery, International Medical Center, Saitama Medical University.


Blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) is known to be a potentially fatal complication of cervical spine injury (CSI). Methods for screening the appropriate population remain to be elucidated, especially in Japan. This retrospective study was conducted to predict the risk factors relevant to BCVIs. Among 92 patients with CSI transferred to our institution from April 2007 to March 2012, 40 patients (35 men, 5 women) with neurological deficits and/or significant cervical spine fracture including fracture of transversarium, facet, body, lamina, and spinous process, underwent multi-detector computed tomography angiography (MDCTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), which identified 10 patients with BCVI [2 carotid artery injuries (BCAIs) and 9 vertebral artery injuries (BVAIs); 1 patient suffered both]. Univariate analyses exploring associations between individual risk factors and BCVI and BVAI were performed using Fisher's exact test and Chi-square test for dichotomous variables and the unpaired t-test for continuous variables. Multiple logistic regression analyses for BCVI and BVAI were carried out using stepwise methods. On univariate and multivariate analysis, hyperextension injury was significantly associated with BVAI (p = 0.01 and p = 0.02), and subluxation (dislocation of vertebral body > 5 mm) was a significant predictor of BCVI (p = 0.04 and p = 0.03) and BVAI (p = 0.01 and p = 0.01). Prompt evaluation for BCVIs is recommended in CSI patients with hyperextension injury and dislocation of the vertebral body.

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