[Traumatic injury affecting the extracranial portion of internal carotid artery (17 case reports) (author's transl)]

Neurochirurgie. 1980;26(2):109-21.
[Article in French]


The authors analyse the detailed clinical course in an homogenous review of 17 cases reports of traumatic injury affecting the extracranial portion of internal carotid artery. Only cases in which there were neither cervical perforating wound nor atheromatous predisposing lesion were considered. As in cases reported in the literature, the young age of these patients, with prevalence in the second decade and in men, was attributable to the etiology. Circumstances in which diagnosis was established induce to discern two unequal groups, according as there was either a coma or immediate focal signs, or a delayed symptomatology : it occured most frequently after a free interval shorter than 48 hours, and reaching in the extrema (one instance) 40 days. Brachiofacial hemiparesis was the most frequent clinical picture. Doppler investigation was able to detect, with a rather satisfying reliability, anomalies in the carotid flow before angiography ; angiogram showed lesions nearly always facing first or second cervical vertebra and bilateral lesions in four instances. Injuries consisted in dissecting aneurysm with stenosis aspect much more often than in thrombosis. In a third of cases distal ischemic lesions below dissecting aneurysm were noted. Prognosis in these cases is very poor since eight patients in our series died without any possibility of expectation according to clinical or angiographical data. Medical therapeutics were disappointing, and this induced to consider an extension in preventive realization of extra-intracranial by pass, each time diagnosis is established and patient is lucid. Etiopathogenical aspect is the originaler part of this study, since we could precisely approach incriminated mechanisms in a methodic analysis of impacts and their results. In our review cranial or facial shock was constantly noted, always frontal and often mild. In II cases association to a frontal and upper thoracic traumatism was found ; safety belt may have been responsible in part, in the mechanism of fixation of upper thoracic orifice, in most cases where this thoracic impact seemed to be missing. Thwarted stretching of carotid artery seems to be the necessary condition for occurring of an intimal tear. Other mechanisms like direct cervical shock may certainly be found, but we did not observe any instance in this review.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carotid Artery Injuries*
  • Facial Injuries / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Skull / injuries
  • Thoracic Injuries / complications