2017 Volume 57 Issue 8 Pages 410-417
Traumatic cerebrovascular injury (TCVI) is an uncommon clinical entity in traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet it may cause devastating brain injury with high morbidity and mortality. Early recognition and prioritized strategic treatment are of paramount importance. A total of 1966 TBI patients admitted between 1999 and 2015 in our tertiary critical care center were reviewed. Screening of TCVI was based on the Guidelines for the Management of Severe Head Injury in Japan. TCVI was confirmed in 33 (1.7%) patients; 29 blunt and 4 penetrating injuries. The primary location of the injury included 16 cervical, 6 craniofacial, and 11 intracranial lesions. On arrival, 15 patients presented with hemorrhage, 5 of these arrived in shock status with massive hemorrhage. Ten presented with ischemic symptoms. Sixteen patients underwent surgical or endovascular intervention, 13 of whom required immediate treatment upon arrival. Surgical procedures included clipping or trapping for traumatic aneurysms, superficial temporal artery - middle cerebral artery bypass, carotid endarterectomy, and direct suture of the injured vessels. Endovascular intervention was undertaken in 7 patients; embolization with Gelfoam (Pharmacia and Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, MI, USA) or coil for 6 hemorrhagic lesions and stent placement for 1 lesion causing ischemia. Patients’ outcome assessed by the Glasgow Outcome Scale at 3 months were good recovery in 8, moderate disability in 3, severe disability in 9, persistent vegetative state in 1, and death in 12, respectively. In order to rescue potentially salvageable TCVI patients, neurosurgeons in charge should be aware of TCVI and master basic skills of cerebrovascular surgical and endovascular procedures to utilize in an emergency setting.