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Case 20: Minor head injury

This young man fell from his bike 12 weeks earlier. He sustained a minor head injury in that he bumped his head at the point marked by the arrow. He now presents with a painful and pulsatile mass at that site.

1. What do you think has happened?

The likely diagnosis is a traumatic false aneurysm of the superficial temporal artery.

2. What treatment would you recommend?

Pseudoaneurysm arising from the superficial temporal artery (STA) is very rare and is most commonly caused by blunt trauma. Most pseudoaneurysms of the STA usually present as a painless pulsating mass, with concomitant symptoms according to location, and their size may rapidly increase. The treatment of choice is ligation and resection.

pubmed reference
Choo MJ, Yoo IS, Song HK.
Department of Otolaryngology, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.