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Jean-Rodolphe Vignes, Arnaud Dagain, Jean Guérin, and Dominique Liguoro


The cerebral venous regulation involved in various physiological and pathological processes has received little attention. Here the authors describe the anatomy of the junction between the cortical vein and the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) and propose a new theory of cerebral venous regulation.


Ten adult human cadaveric heads (20 sides), including five specimens into which stained latex had been injected, were used for anatomical study. Formalin-fixed cadaver heads were dissected to demonstrate the cortical veins along the SSS. The characteristics of the cortical bridging veins and their openings into the SSS were established by anatomical, histological, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural study of the junction.


After their subarachnoid course, the cortical bridging veins penetrated the SSS at different points in the dura mater depending on their rostrocaudal position. The venous endothelium stretched beyond the sinus endothelium. The orientation of the collagen fibers changed at the level of the venous openings, with the luminal diameter becoming narrow and oval-shaped. The major finding was the organization of the smooth-muscle cells at the end of each cortical vein. At this site and particularly in the frontoparietal region, the vessel resembled a myoendothelial “sphincter.” The authors hypothesize that this organization is involved in cerebral venous system regulation.


The point of convergence between the cortical veins and the SSS is a key area. The authors also hypothesize that the myoendothelial junction acts as a smooth sphincter and that it plays a role in cerebral venous hemodynamics and pathological conditions.

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Aurore Sellier, Nathan Beucler, Christophe Joubert, Nicolas Desse, and Arnaud Dagain

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Aurore Sellier, Nathan Beucler, Christophe Joubert, Nicolas Desse, and Arnaud Dagain

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Renaud Dulou, Arnaud Dagain, Jean-Marc Delmas, Evelyne Lambert, Eric Blondet, Olivier Goasguen, Bruno Pouit, Guillaume Dutertre, François de Soultrait, and Philippe Pernot

The authors present the French concept of a mobile neurosurgical unit (MNSU) as used to provide specific support to remote military medicosurgical units deployed in Africa, South America, Central Europe, and Afghanistan. From 2001 to 2009, 15 missions were performed, for 16 patients. All but 3 of these missions (those in Kosovo, French Guyana, and Afghanistan) concerned Africa. Eleven patients were French soldiers, 3 were civilians, and 2 were Djiboutian soldiers. The conditions that MNSUs were requested for included craniocerebral wounds (2 cases), closed head trauma (7 cases), spinal trauma (5 cases), and spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage (2 cases). In 5 of the 16 cases, neurosurgical treatment was provided on site. All French soldiers and 2 civilians were evacuated to France. The MNSU can be deployed for timely treatment when some delay in neurosurgical management is acceptable.

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Nathan Beucler, Aurore Sellier, Nicolas Desse, Christophe Joubert, and Arnaud Dagain

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Arnaud Dagain, Olivier Aoun, Aurore Sellier, Nicolas Desse, Christophe Joubert, Nathan Beucler, Cédric Bernard, Mathilde Fouet, Jean-Marc Delmas, and Renaud Dulou

This article aims to describe the French concept regarding combat casualty neurosurgical care from the theater of operations to a homeland hospital. French military neurosurgeons are not routinely deployed to all combat zones. As a consequence, general surgeons initially treat neurosurgical wounds. The principle of this medical support is based on damage control. It is aimed at controlling intracranial hypertension spikes when neuromonitoring is lacking in resource-limited settings. Neurosurgical damage control permits a medevac that is as safe as can be expected from a conflict zone to a homeland medical treatment facility. French military neurosurgeons can occasionally be deployed within an airborne team to treat a military casualty or to complete a neurosurgical procedure performed by a general surgeon in theaters of operation. All surgeons regardless of their specialty must know neurosurgical damage control. General surgeons must undergo the required training in order for them to perform this neurosurgical technique.

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Nathan Beucler, Aurore Sellier, Nicolas Desse, Christophe Joubert, and Arnaud Dagain

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Pierre Esnault, Mickaël Cardinale, Henry Boret, Erwan D'Aranda, Ambroise Montcriol, Julien Bordes, Bertrand Prunet, Christophe Joubert, Arnaud Dagain, Philippe Goutorbe, Eric Kaiser, and Eric Meaudre


Blunt cerebrovascular injuries (BCVIs) affect approximately 1% of patients with blunt trauma. An antithrombotic or anticoagulation therapy is recommended to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of neurovascular events. This treatment has to be carefully considered after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), due to the risk of intracranial hemorrhage expansion. Thus, the physician in charge of the patient is confronted with a hemorrhagic and ischemic risk. The main objective of this study was to determine the incidence of BCVI after severe TBI.


The authors conducted a prospective, observational, single-center study including all patients with severe TBI admitted in the trauma center. Diagnosis of BCVI was performed using a 64-channel multidetector CT. Characteristics of the patients, CT scan results, and outcomes were collected. A multivariate logistic regression model was developed to determine the risk factors of BCVI. Patients in whom BCVI was diagnosed were treated with systemic anticoagulation.


In total, 228 patients with severe TBI who were treated over a period of 7 years were included. The incidence of BCVI was 9.2%. The main risk factors were as follows: motorcycle crash (OR 8.2, 95% CI 1.9–34.8), fracture involving the carotid canal (OR 11.7, 95% CI 1.7–80.9), cervical spine injury (OR 13.5, 95% CI 3.1–59.4), thoracic trauma (OR 7.3, 95% CI 1.1–51.2), and hepatic lesion (OR 13.3, 95% CI 2.1–84.5). Among survivors, 82% of patients with BCVI received systemic anticoagulation therapy, beginning at a median of Day 1.5. The overall stroke rate was 19%. One patient had an intracranial hemorrhagic complication.


Blunt cerebrovascular injuries are frequent after severe TBI (incidence 9.2%). The main risk factors are high-velocity lesions and injuries near cervical arteries.