Late complications of vertebral artery dissection in children: pseudoaneurysm, thrombosis, and recurrent stroke.
ABSTRACT Craniocervical arterial dissection is an important cause of childhood arterial ischemic stroke, accounting for 7.5% to 20% of cases. Significant neurologic morbidity and mortality may result and recurrence risk may be higher than in adults. However, the natural history and long-term outcome of pediatric dissection are poorly studied. We report 3 cases of extracranial vertebral artery dissection with complications including pseudoaneurysm formation, recurrent stroke, and late spontaneous thrombosis of the dissected artery. These cases illustrate the dynamic processes involved in vascular injury and healing of vertebral artery dissection in children over years, with potential implications for long-term management and prevention of recurrence.
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ABSTRACT: We present a case of a rebleeding remote from a vertebral artery dissection associated with subarachnoid haemorrhage. A 7-year-old boy without any antecedent presented a traumatic dissection of the vertebral artery with subarachnoid haemorrhage. After a conservative treatment, the morphology of the vertebral artery became normal and the boy was asymptomatic. Four months later, a rebleeding occurred on the same vertebral artery, whose morphological review was normal. Mechanisms and cases of rebleeding in the literature are discussed. An inflammatory vasculopathy was suspected and discussed.Neurochirurgie 12/2011; 58(1):30-3. · 0.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OPINION STATEMENT: Diagnosis of craniocervical arterial dissection (CCAD) in children begins with a careful history and physical in a child with a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or arterial ischemic stroke (AIS). The extent of radiologic evaluation for suspected CCAD is based upon careful consideration of the risks associated with the best imaging techniques, weighed against the benefits of enhanced vascular imaging with better diagnostic sensitivity. Although conventional angiography (CA) and CT angiography (CTA) have a higher sensitivity than magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), they are accompanied by risks: for CA, femoral hematoma, femoral arterial pseudoaneurysm, recurrent AIS, and radiation exposure; for CTA, radiation. For children (non-neonates) with suspected CCAD, MRI with MRA is recommended as the first-line imaging study. MRI usually includes diffusion-weighted, FLAIR, and T1 images of the brain, and T1 or T2 fat-saturation axial imaging through the neck. MRA should include 3D time-of-flight MRA of the head and neck (from the aortic arch through the circle of Willis). Contrast-enhanced MRA should be highly considered in neck imaging. If MRI/MRA is equivocal, CCAD is strongly suspected but not detected on MRI/MRA (especially in the posterior circulation), or the child has recurrent events, additional imaging of the craniocervical vasculature is likely warranted. Individual clinical circumstances warrant careful, case-by-case consideration. Treatment of CCAD in children is challenging and differs for intracranial and extracranial dissections. In extracranial CCAD, we most commonly use anticoagulation for 6 weeks to 6 months in patients with TIA or AIS. Typically, unfractionated heparin is used in the acutely ill patient at heightened risk for bleeding (because of its short half-life), whereas low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or warfarin are reserved for the stable patient. If the history is suspicious for dissection (head and neck trauma, recent cervical chiropractic manipulation, recent car accident, or neck pain), we consider treatment for dissection even with normal MRI/MRA. For patients with CCAD with a stroke size greater than one third to one half of the middle cerebral artery territory (or other bleeding risk factors) and extracranial CCAD, in whom there is concern about heightened risk for hemorrhagic conversion, we commonly use aspirin therapy during the acute phase. Regardless of their treatment in the initial weeks to months, we subsequently treat all patients with aspirin for 1 year after their event, and sometimes longer if they have other risk factors. Interventional techniques, such as extracranial cerebral arterial stent placement or selective occlusion, are understudied in children. Interventional techniques are typically reserved for patients who fail aggressive medical management and have recurrent TIA or AIS. The diagnosis and treatment of intracranial dissection is extraordinarily challenging in children, in whom inflammatory intracranial arteriopathies are common. When intracranial arteriopathy is clearly associated with dissection, the clinician should look for the presence of subarachnoid hemorrhage and/or dissecting aneurysm. Treatment decisions should be made by a multidisciplinary pediatric stroke team, given the lack of data in this area. Intracranial cerebral artery stent placement carries high risk and is not recommended for intracranial CCAD in children. Most importantly, we educate all children with CCAD and their parents about the paucity of evidence in the treatment of this disease, the risks of enhanced imaging techniques such as CTA or CA, and the challenges involved in weighing the risks of aggressive therapies and interventions against the costs of unclear diagnosis and potentially ineffective treatments. We also educate our patients with CCAD about the signs and symptoms of recurrence and the importance of emergent evaluation.Current Treatment Options in Neurology 12/2011; 13(6):636-48. · 1.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) has been well described in the adult trauma literature. The risk factors, proper screening, and treatment options are well known. In pediatric trauma, there has been very little research performed regarding this injury. We hypothesize that the incidence of BCVI in children is lower than the 1% reported incidence in adult studies and that many children at risk are not being screened properly. This is a multi-institutional retrospective cohort study of pediatric patients (<15 years) admitted with blunt trauma to six American College of Surgeons-verified Level 1 pediatric trauma centers between October 2009 and June 2011. All patients with head, neck, or face injuries who were high risk for BCVI based on Memphis criteria were analyzed. Of 5,829 blunt trauma admissions, 538 patients had at least one of the Memphis criteria. Only 89 (16.5%) of these patients were screened (16 patients had more than one test) by angiography (64 by computed tomography angiography, 39 by magnetic resonance angiography, and 2 by conventional angiography), while 459 (83.5%) were not screened. Screened patients differed from unscreened patients in Injury Severity Score (ISS) (22.6 ± 13.3 vs. 13.3 ± 9.9, p < 0.0001) and head and neck Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score (3.7 ± 1.2 vs. 2.8 ± 1.2, p < 0.0001). The incidence of BCVI in our total population was 0.4% (23 patients). Of the 23 patients with BCVI, 3 (13%) had no risk factors for the injury. The odds of having sustained BCVI in a patient with one or more of the risk factors was 4.0 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-14.2). BCVI in Level 1 pediatric trauma centers is diagnosed less frequently than in adult centers. However, screening was performed in a minority of high-risk patients who may explain the reported lower incidence of BCVI in children. Pediatric surgeons need to become more vigilant about screening pediatric patients with high-risk criteria for BCVI. Prognostic/epidemiologic study, level III; therapeutic study, level IV.The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 12/2013; 75(6):1006-1012.