Intracranial arterial narrowing and spasm in acute head injury

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  • 1 Section on Neurological Surgery, Departments of Surgery and Radiology, Chulalongkorn Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
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✓ Arteriography in 350 patients with a moderate to severe head injury, including repeated studies in 40 patients, revealed narrowing of one or more of the intracranial arteries in 65 patients (18.6%). Narrowing of the intracranial portion of the internal carotid artery and the first part of the anterior and middle cerebral arteries was found in 18 patients and was believed to be responsible for the clinical symptoms in some. Narrowing of the branches of the cerebral arteries at the site of the cerebral contusion was seen in 33 patients and diffuse narrowing of the intracranial arteries in 12. In two additional patients with gunshot wounds of the brain, there was narrowing of the cerebral artery adjoining a torn vessel. The evidence suggests that vascular spasm is responsible for the narrowing in some patients, while contusion and hemorrhage in the arterial wall is the cause in others. Whatever the mechanism, the occurrence and significance of cerebral arterial narrowing in association with acute head injury needs to be emphasized.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Charas Suwanwela, M.D., Section on Neurological Surgery, Department of Surgery, Chulalongkorn Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.
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