Lethal penetrating stab injury to the vertebral artery
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Penetrating injuries of the vertebral artery are a rare phenomenon mainly because of the deep location of the vessel in the bony canal. Injury of this vessel has not been associated with neurological deficits. The collaterals are usually sufficient to not cause an ischemic stroke. A majority are clinically silent or have a late presentation as arteriovenous fistula, false aneurysms, or neurological deficits. However, a case of cerebellar infarction has been reported. We report a rare case of isolated penetrating stab injury to a vertebral artery that expired due to cerebellar and brainstem infarction. This emphasizes that thorough evaluation and timely management of suspected injuries to even a single vertebral artery should be undertaken.

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