Therapeutic endovascular treatments for traumatic vertebral artery injuries

J Trauma. 2007 Apr;62(4):886-91. doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000209398.07973.60.


Objective: Traumatic vertebral artery injuries pose difficulty in early diagnosis and management because of concomitant neurologic dysfunction and limitations in direct surgical access. The purpose of this report is to review endovascular therapy in patients with traumatic vertebral artery injuries for preservation of the parent artery, and to determine the safety and efficacy of such endovascular therapy.

Methods: Six patients with traumatic vertebral artery lesions were treated using therapeutic endovascular methods. Endovascular therapy was accomplished by stent insertion or coil embolization or both.

Results: Except one patient who underwent coil embolization of a transected vertebral artery, all dissections and pseudoaneurysms were successfully treated by stent placement or stent-assisted coiling with preservation of parent arteries. No additional surgical procedures for vascular lesions were required. There were no delayed neurologic or vascular complications and no lesions recurred during the follow-up period (mean, 36.7 months).

Conclusion: The author's experience demonstrates that endovascular therapy using stents and coils is both feasible and safe in the treatment of traumatic vertebral artery injuries. Endovascular therapy selectively eliminated the vascular abnormality while maintaining the normal patency of the cerebral arteries. Long-term follow-up review of these repairs will be necessary to provide a full evaluation of the safety and efficacy of these devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneurysm, False / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, False / therapy*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebral Artery / injuries*
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / therapy*