An Update in Imaging of Blunt Vascular Neck Injury

Rawan Abu Mughli, Tong Wu, Jessica Li, Saba Moghimi, Zersenay Alem, Muhammad Umer Nasir, Waleed Abdellatif, Savvas Nicolaou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Traumatic injuries of the cervical carotid and vertebral arteries, collectively referred to as blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI), can result in significant patient morbidity and mortality, with one of the most feared outcomes being cerebrovascular ischemia. Systematic imaging-guided screening for BCVI aims for early detection to guide timely management. In particular, accurate detection of the severity and grade of BCVI is paramount in guiding initial management. Furthermore, follow-up imaging is required to decide the duration of antithrombotic therapy. In this article, classification of the grades of BCVI and associated imaging findings will be outlined and diagnostic pitfalls and mimickers that can confound diagnosis will be described. In addition, updates to existing screening guidelines and recent efforts of criteria modification to improve detection of BCVI cases will be reviewed. The advent of postprocessing tools applied to conventional computed tomography (CT) angiograms and new diagnostic tools in dual energy CT for improved detection will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-292
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Association of Radiologists Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Biffl grading
  • blunt cervical vessel injury
  • CT angiography
  • dual energy CT
  • screening criteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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