Asymptomatic dissection of craniocervical arteries in combination with severe cervical spine fractures

Published online: Apr 27 2010

Thomas Dienstknecht, Antonio Ernstberger, Michael Nerlich, Peter Angele

From the University Hospital Regensburg, Germany


Cervical spine fractures and traumatic dissection of craniocervical arteries are a common combination after severe trauma to the head and neck. Usually, severe symptoms lead the way to diagnosis. We report the case of a young woman involved in a high-velocity car accident without leading neurological symptoms but the threatening combination of dislocation fractures of the C6th/C7th/Th1th vertebrae and dissections of both carotid arteries and one vertebral artery. This case illustrates the need for quick and sufficient clinical diagnostic workup and evaluation and a well-scheduled treatment plan to combine the management of the spinal column fractures and the vascular injury. A review of the relevant literature and therapeutic approaches is presented.