Unexpected death after occipital condylar fracture

Vincent J. Bulthuis*, E. M. J. Cornips, J. Dings, H. van Santbrink, A. A. Postma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We present a rare fatal complication of an occipital condylar fracture. The patient was initially neurologically intact, but showed secondary clinical deterioration. Imaging revealed extensive extra-axial hemorrhage at the craniocervical junction and an acute obstructive hydrocephalus. MR imaging demonstrated a T2 hyperintens signal in both the lower brainstem and upper cervical spinal cord, likely caused by the extra-axial hemorrhage. As prognosis was estimated infaust, supportive treatment was discontinued and the patient died soon thereafter. This case report illustrates a rare, delayed complication and unexpected death in a patient having sustained an occipital condylar fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1166
Number of pages4
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Clinical presentation
  • Complications
  • Epidural hematoma
  • Myelopathy
  • Occipital condylar fracture

Cite this