Background: Current blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) grading grossly differentiates injury characteristics such as luminal stenosis (LS) and aneurysmal disease. The effect of increasing degree of LS beyond the current BCVI grading scale on stroke formation is unknown. Study Design: BCVI over a 3-year period were retrospectively reviewed. To investigate influence of LS beyond the BCVI grading scale within aneurysmal and non-aneurysmal BCVI, grade 2 BCVI were subdivided into BCVI with ≥ 25% and ≤ 50% LS and BCVI with > 50% and ≤ 99% LS. Grade 3 BCVI were subdivided into BCVI with pseudoaneurysm (PSA) without LS and BCVI with PSA and LS. We hypothesized increased LS beyond the current BCVI grade distinctions would be associated with higher rates of stroke formation. Results: 312 BCVI were included, of which 140 were carotid BCVI and 172 vertebral BCVI. Sixteen carotid BCVI underwent endovascular intervention (EI) and 19 suffered a stroke. In carotid BCVI stroke rates increased sequentially with BCVI grade except in grade 3. There was a stroke rate of 12% in grade 1 carotid BCVI, 18% in grade 2, 6% in grade 3, and 31% in grade 4. In subgroup analysis for grade 2 carotid BCVI, BCVI with > 50% and ≤ 99% LS had higher rates of stroke (22% vs. 15%, p = 0.44) than BCVI with ≥ 25% and ≤ 50% LS. In subgroup analysis of grade 3 carotid BCVI, BCVI with PSA and LS had higher rates of stroke (9% vs. 4%, p = 0.48) than BCVI with PSA without LS. Higher rates of EI in grade 2 carotid BCVI with > 50% and ≤ 99% LS (22% vs. 5%, p = 0.14) and grade 3 carotid BCVI with PSA and LS (35% vs. 4%, p = 0.01) were noted in subgroup analysis. Conclusion: Higher percentage LS beyond the currently used BCVI grading scale has a non-significantly increased rate of stroke in both aneurysmal and non-aneurysmal BCVI. Grade 3 BCVI with PSA and LS seems to be a high-risk subgroup. Use of EI confounds modern measurement of stroke risk in higher LS BCVI.
- Blunt cerebrovascular injury
- Vascular trauma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine