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October 19, 1979

Stroke After Roller Coaster-Induced Carotid Compression

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Internal Medicine (Dr Scheer) and Neurology (Dr Carlin), Morristown (NJ) Memorial Hospital, and the Department of Neurology, Rutgers Medical School, Piscataway, NJ (Dr Carlin).

JAMA. 1979;242(16):1769. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300160049028

TRAUMATIC thrombosis of the internal carotid artery has been reported. Such cases have been due to blunt neck injury followed by spreading thrombosis and subsequent cerebral embolization.1,2 Carotid artery compression caused by diagnostic carotid compression tonography and ocular pneumoplethysmography have also been described.3 We describe a previously healthy teenage girl who had a stroke after riding a roller coaster in which she was upside down, supported by a padded metal shoulder support resembling a horse collar.

Report of a Case  A 13-year-old girl was admitted to the Morristown Memorial Hospital on Aug 27, 1978, with the chief complaint of headache, right hemiparesis, and difficulty speaking. Her speech defect was first noted as she stepped off a roller coaster ride two days earlier, but cleared spontaneously after one hour. However, her headache persisted and the following morning she was seen by her physician, who found no focal neurologic signs