Amussat described transverse lacerations in the intima of carotid arteries that occur with hanging by the neck.



(1) There is a transverse disruption of the intima layer of the carotid artery.

(2) The lacerations may be unilateral or bilateral.

(3) The laceration may be followed by subintimal hematoma formation and/or dissection if the person lives long enough.

(4) Occasionally the disruption may extend into the muscularis and/or adventitia (transmural).


Conditions associated with the finding:

(1) hanging by the neck

(2) blunt neck trauma

(3) whiplash injuries of the head and neck

(4) extreme overstreching of the neck

(5) ? blast injury


Predisposing conditions:

(1) older age (>= 20 years, especially >= 60 years)



• Disorders of elastic or other connective tissues might be expected to predispose to arterial damage.



(1) dissection

(2) occlusion of the carotid artery (from thrombosis and/or hematoma)

(3) hemorrhage into the neck


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