Delayed cerebral infarct following anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion

Christopher S. Graffeo, Ross C. Puffer, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, William E. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Ischemic stroke following anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF) is an exceedingly rare complication. There are only three previous cases focusing on this problem in the literature; here, we present the fourth case. Case Description: A patient, cared for at an outside institution, developed a delayed ischemic stroke 3 days following an ACDF. This complication was attributed to carotid manipulation precipitating vascular injury in the setting of multiple comorbid vascular and coagulopathic risk factors, including previously undiagnosed carotid atherosclerosis, a prior history of pulmonary embolus requiring Warfarin anticoagulation (held perioperatively), acute dehydration, and atrial fibrillation. Conclusions: This case demonstrates the importance of focused history and examination in appropriate patients prior to ACDF, with special consideration given to the significance of age, comorbidities including coagulopathy and arrhythmia, and potential underlying vascular disease as markers for increased risk of perioperative thrombotic stroke associated with carotid manipulation. Patients at higher risk warrant comprehensive preoperative assessment, including medical evaluation, carotid imaging, and consideration for alternative surgical approaches. Copy; 2016 Surgical Neurology International | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number86
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion
  • carotid disease
  • cerebral infarct
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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