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Internal Carotid Artery Tear Seen in Child After Roller-Coaster Ride

Case study describes 4-year-old who developed left-sided weakness after frequenting rides

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Frequenting roller-coaster rides may lead to intimal tears within the cervical internal carotid artery (ICA), according to a case report published online Nov. 26 in Pediatric Neurology.

Amre Nouh, M.D., from the University of Connecticut-Hartford Hospital, and colleagues describe the case of a previously healthy 4-year-old boy who developed acute onset of left-sided weakness following a trip to an amusement park. A day prior to symptom development he had frequented two roller-coaster rides.

On evaluation, the researchers found that the patient had an acute right middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory infarction. Dissection of the right cervical ICA was seen on cerebral angiogram, as well as right MCA occlusion involving the M1 segment. The patient was treated with aspirin. There was no evidence to suggest underlying connective tissue disease.

"We speculate that repetitive forces of acceleration and deceleration may have led to a cervical ICA intimal tear, followed by thromboembolism," the authors write. "It remains uncertain what the threshold of susceptibility to repetitive rotational changes and tolerability to G forces in an otherwise healthy child truly is."

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