Blunt Cerebrovascular Injury-Like Injury Observed in Patients With Craniofacial Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wounds

Joshua Yoon, Selim Gebran, Adekunle Elegbede, Samantha Day, Philip Wasicek, Yuanyuan Liang, Yvonne Rasko, Michael P. Grant, Arthur J. Nam, Uttam K. Bodanapally, Clint W. Sliker, Fan Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Although blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) is recognized as a risk factor for trauma morbidity and mortality, little is described regarding similar cerebrovascular injury (CVI) in patients with penetrating wounds. The authors aim to characterize these injuries in the craniofacial self-inflicted gunshot wound (SIGSW) population.Methods:An institutional review board (IRB)-approved retrospective nstudy was conducted on patients presenting to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center with SIGSWs between 2007 and 2016. All CVIs were categorized by location, type, and associated neurologic deficits. Demographic data, patient characteristics, additional studies, and long-term outcomes were collected. A multivariate analysis determining independent predictors of CVI in the SIGSW population was performed.Results:Of the 73 patients with SIGSWs, 5 (6.8%) had CVIs separate from the bullet/cavitation tract (distant CVIs) and 9 had CVIs along the bullet/cavitation tract (in-tract CVIs). A total of 55.6% of in-tract and 40% of distant injuries were missed on initial radiology read. One distant CVI patient suffered a stroke during admission. The anterior to posterior gunshot wound trajectory was positively associated with distant CVIs when compared with no CVIs (P = 0.01). Vessel dissection was more prevalent in patients with distant CVIs, when compared against patients with in-tract CVIs (P = 0.02).Conclusions:Nearly 20% of craniofacial SIGSW patients have CVIs and 6.8% have BCVI-like injuries, which is 2-to-6-fold times higher than traditional BCVIs. Craniofacial SIGSWs serve as an independent screening criterion with comparable screening yields; the authors recommend radiographic screening for these patients with particular scrutiny for CVIs as they are frequently missed on initial radiographic interpretations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1046-1050
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • BCVI screening
  • penetrating brain injury
  • penetrating head trauma
  • vascular injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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