Last year (2010), a study published in the journal European Neurology retrospectively analyzed the data on 500 consecutive patients with whiplash injury/ The authors noted that cervical arterial dissection* can become symptomatic months after a whiplash injury.

*refers to a tear in the inner wall of a major artery in your neck.

In this study, 37.5% occurred between 4 -12 months post whiplash injury.

In this study, the authors found that head-on collisions and rear-end collisions were equally likely to produce a cervical artery dissection; and that low speed collisions were just as likely as higher speed collisions to create a post-traumatic cervical artery dissection.

Most importantly, they found that there is an increased risk of posttraumatic cervical artery dissection within 12 months after whiplash injury by about 400 times compared to the uninjured population.

Car accidents are an important risk factor for arterial dissections. The victims of car accidents should be screened for arterial dissections.


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