Bow hunter stroke caused by cervical disc herniation. Case report

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Bow hunter stroke, which is characterized by transient vertebrobasilar ischemia brought on by head turning, is an unusual condition usually caused by structural abnormalities at the craniocervical junction. The authors present a case in which compression of the left vertebral artery (VA) at the C4-5 level was caused by a laterally herniated intervertebral disc. A 56-year-old man presented with a 6-month history of dizziness and syncope when he turned his head 45 degrees or more to the left. Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography demonstrated decreased blood flow through the left VA, and angiography revealed an occlusion of the left VA at the C4-5 level, both when the patient turned his head to the left. Via an anterior cervical approach, the VA canal was unroofed through the transverse foramina to decompress the left VA at C4-5; intraoperatively, the left VA was found to be compressed by a laterally herniated cervical disc fragment. To the best of the authors' knowledge this is the first report of a laterally herniated cervical disc causing bow hunter stroke. The use of TCD may be of value in the diagnosis and management of the disorder, and herniated cervical disc must be included in the roster of potential causes for this rare disease.

Medical Subject Headings

Blood Flow Velocity (physiology); Cerebral Angiography; Cervical Vertebrae (pathology, surgery); Constriction, Pathologic (diagnosis, etiology, surgery); Decompression, Surgical; Head Movements (physiology); Humans; Intervertebral Disc Displacement (complications, diagnosis, surgery); Ischemic Attack, Transient (diagnosis, etiology, surgery); Male; Middle Aged; Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial; Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency (diagnosis, etiology, surgery)

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Journal of neurosurgery






1 Suppl

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