Treatment strategies for patients with concurrent blunt cerebrovascular and traumatic brain injury

Javier M. Figueroa, Katherine Berry, James Boddu, Michael Kader, Michael Silva, Evan Luther, Veronica Ayala, Robert M. Starke, Jonathan Jagid, Ronald Benveniste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients who present with traumatic brain injury (TBI) combined with blunt cerebrovascular injuries (BCVI) are difficult to manage, in part because treatment for each entity may exacerbate the other. It is necessary to develop a treatment paradigm that ensures maximum benefit while mitigating the opposing risks. A cohort of 150 patients from 2015 to present, with either internal carotid artery (ICA) and/or vertebral artery (VA) dissections or pseudoaneurysms, was cross-referenced with those who had sustained TBI. Of the 38 patients identified with both TBI and BCVI, 25 suffered ICA injuries, 10 had VA injuries and 3 had combined ICA/VA injuries. Unilateral BCVI occurred in 30 patients, while 8 had bilateral BCVI. Two patients required surgical intervention for TBI, and 5 patients required endovascular intervention for BCVI. Positive emboli detection studies (EDS) on transcranial dopplers (TCD) were demonstrated in 19 patients, with 9 patients having radiographic evidence of stroke. Anti-platelet therapy was initiated in 32 patients, and anti-coagulation in 10 patients, without new or worsening intracranial hemorrhages (ICH). Overall, 76% of patients were able to be discharged home or to rehabilitation, with good recovery demonstrated in 73% of the patients who had appropriate follow-up. In the setting of concurrent TBI and BCVI, use of anti-platelet/coagulation to prevent stroke can be safe if monitored closely. Here we describe a treatment paradigm which weighs the risk and benefits of therapies based on severity of ICH and stroke prevention, which tended to result in good disposition and recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • BCVI
  • Dissection
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Pseudoaneurysm
  • TBI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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