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Risk factors for vertebral artery injuries in cervical spine trauma

Risk factors for vertebral artery injuries in cervical spine trauma

Orthopedic Reviews 6(3): 5429

Blunt cerebrovascular injuries (i.e. involvement of carotid and vertebral arteries) are increasingly being recognized in setting of cervical spine trauma/fractures and are associated with high incidence of stroke/morbidity and mortality. The incidence of vertebral artery injuries (VAI) is more common than previously thought and regular screening is seldom performed. However there exists no screening criteria and conflicting reports exists between spine and trauma literature. Many clinicians do not routinely screen/evaluate patients presenting with cervical spine trauma for potential VAI. This article provides a brief summary of existing evidence regarding the incidence of VAI in the background of cervical trauma/fractures. The type and fracture pattern that is associated with a high risk of VAI warranting mandatory screening/further work-up is discussed. A brief overview of diagnostic modalities and their respective sensitivity/specificity along with available treatment options is also summarized.

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Accession: 055583619

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PMID: 25317310

DOI: 10.4081/or.2014.5429

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