Management of Extracranial Blunt Cerebrovascular Injuries: Experience with an Aspirin-Based Approach.



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BACKGROUND: Optimal management of patients with extracranial blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) remains controversial, with both anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy being recommended. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of using acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) in the management of BCVI.

METHODS: Patients with BCVI were identified from the registry of a Level 1 trauma center between 2010 and 2017. Digital imaging and electronic medical records were reviewed for patient information including demographic characteristics, injury type, therapy, outcomes, and follow-up.

RESULTS: Over the study period, 13,578 patients were admitted following blunt trauma, with 94 (0.7%) having confirmed BCVI (mean age, 42 years; 72% male). Mean Injury Severity Score and Glasgow Coma Score were 27 and 10, respectively. BCVI was identified in 130 vessels with Biffl grade I (38%) and grade II injury (29%) being most common. Twelve (13%) patients experienced an ischemic event, but only 3 events occurred after diagnosis. ASA was primary treatment for 56 (60%) patients. Thirty patients (32%) received no treatment; 21 patients died within 24 hours of primary injury. Only 4 patients had ASA contraindications. Four patients (7%) had ASA-related complications; there were 2 cases of intracranial hemorrhage progression and 2 cases of gastrointestinal bleeding. Follow-up vascular imaging at a mean of 36 days demonstrated stable or improved levels of BCVI in 94% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS: An ASA-based management strategy for BCVI was efficacious and relatively safe in this study. This approach may be the preferred treatment for BCVI, but confirmation is needed.

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Aneurysm, Dissecting; Anticoagulants; Aspirin; Carotid Artery Injuries; Carotid Artery, Internal; Cerebrovascular Trauma; Disease Management; Drug Evaluation; Female; Hemorrhage; Hospital Mortality; Humans; Injury Severity Score; Length of Stay; Male; Middle Aged; Multiple Trauma; Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors; Retrospective Studies; Stroke; Vertebral Artery; Wounds, Nonpenetrating; Young Adult

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World Neurosurg





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