Characterizing Blunt Cerebrovascular Injuries and Stroke: A Single Center Retrospective Study

Lillie Tien, Dan-Victor Giurgiutiu, Erin F Switzer, Jeffrey A Switzer
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: the Official Journal of National Stroke Association 2021 January 19, 30 (4): 105563

OBJECTIVE: To highlight the occurrence of ischemic stroke after blunt cerebrovascular injuries and discuss the neurologist's role in preventing and managing ischemic strokes in this trauma population.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed and included data from 2016 to 2019 from a Level I trauma center. Demographics, injury mechanism, ischemic stroke occurrence, interventions, and neurology consultations were examined and descriptive statistics were utilized to characterize the nature of ischemic strokes and their management.

RESULTS: A total of forty patients (81% male, average age 44) presented with blunt cerebrovascular injury, nine of whom later developed ischemic stroke. Eighteen patients had a carotid artery injury with six developing ischemic stroke. Twenty-seven patients had a vertebral artery injury with three developing ischemic stroke. Six of the nine ischemic strokes occurred on hospital day two, whereas neurology was generally consulted on hospital day four.

CONCLUSIONS: A considerable portion of patients may go on to develop ischemic stroke following blunt cerebrovascular injuries. Polytrauma may interfere with prompt diagnosis which may contribute to delayed anti-thrombotic therapy for ischemic stroke prevention. Neurologists have the opportunity to reduce ischemic stroke burden in this trauma population and patients may benefit from earlier neurology consultation.

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