Roller coasters and cervical artery dissection

Monica S Badve and Sandeep Bhuta
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (8): 339. || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00715
Published online: 19 October 2015

A 42-year-old woman with no vascular risk factors was admitted with neck pain and right Horner syndrome after riding a roller coaster. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of her neck showed a characteristic crescent-shaped intramural haematoma in the right internal carotid artery1 (Figure, A), confirmed by magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) (Figure, B). T1-fat-suppressed MRI and arterial wall imaging are currently the most sensitive techniques for diagnosis of dissection. Riding roller coasters has been associated with shearing neck injury leading to cervical artery dissection.2 Our patient was treated with warfarin for 6 months, leading to the intramural haematoma resolving and the Horner syndrome greatly improving.


A. T1-fat-suppressed MRI of neck. Arrow: intramural haematoma in right internal carotid artery. B. MRA of neck. Arrow: narrowing of C1 segment of right internal carotid artery.

  • Monica S Badve
  • Sandeep Bhuta

  • 1 Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast, QLD
  • 2 Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD


  • 1. Ozdoba C, Sturzenegger M, Schroth G. Internal carotid artery dissection: MR imaging features and clinical-radiologic correlation. Radiology 1996; 199: 191-198.
  • 2. Biousse V, Chabriat H, Amarenco P, Bousser MG. Roller-coaster-induced vertebral artery dissection. Lancet 1995; 346: 767.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.