Superficial Stab Wound to Zone I of the Neck Resulting in Thyrocervical Trunk Pseudoaneurysm Presented as Recurrent Hemothorax and Successfully Managed by Coil Embolization

Adel Elkbuli, Saamia Shaikh, John D Ehrhardt, Mark McKenney, Dessy Boneva
American Journal of Case Reports 2020 March 8, 21: e920196
BACKGROUND Thyrocervical trunk pseudoaneurysms are rare complications that have been documented after internal jugular or subclavian venous cannulation. Even less common, these pseudoaneurysms can arise after blunt or penetrating trauma. Clinical hallmarks include an expanding supraclavicular mass with local compressive symptoms such as paresthesias, arterial steal syndrome, and Horner's syndrome. Patients may be asymptomatic, however, or present with overlying ecchymosis or the presence of a new bruit or thrill. With the risk of rupture, thyrocervical trunk pseudoaneurysm is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. CASE REPORT We report the case of a 27-year-old man who presented after sustaining a self-inflicted stab wound to zone I of his neck. Initial examination revealed only a superficial small laceration, but a chest x-ray revealed a pneumothorax, and tube thoracostomy returned 300 mL of bloody output. After resolution of the hemothorax and removal of the thoracostomy tube, the patient reaccumulated blood, requiring a repeat tube thoracostomy. Angiography at that time revealed a pseudoaneurysm of the thyrocervical trunk, and coil embolization was performed to obliterate the pseudoaneurysm. CONCLUSIONS Thyrocervical trunk pseudoaneurysms can be asymptomatic, often have a delayed presentation, and can be life-threatening due to the risk of rupture and subsequent hemodynamic decline or airway compromise. While these pseudoaneurysms are well-known complications of deep penetrating injuries, they can also present following superficial penetrating injury to zone I of the neck. Selective angiography is the imaging modality of choice. Open surgical repair was traditionally the criterion standard for treatment; however, endovascular approaches are minimally invasive, feasible, and safer alternatives with reduced complications and are becoming more common.

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