Multi-detector row CT angiography of the neck in blunt trauma

Radiol Clin North Am. 2012 Jan;50(1):59-72. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2011.08.007.


Blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) is uncommon but potentially catastrophic; 80% are caused by vehicle collisions. Ischemic events secondary to untreated BCVI are common, with high injury-specific mortality. This has led to implementation of screening programs based on mechanism of injury, clinical presentation, and injury patterns identified on noncontrast computed tomography (CT) imaging. The standard of reference for diagnosis is four-vessel digital subtraction angiography. Given its availably in trauma service institutions, use of multidetector CT angiography has increased. This article presents the evidence and the controversies surrounding its use. Available protocols, injury description, and grading, as well as potential pitfalls are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carotid Artery Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography*
  • Neck / blood supply*
  • Neck Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vertebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebral Artery / injuries*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnostic imaging*