Carotid artery dissection represents a well-recognized cause of hypoglossal nerve paralysis even if it is less known the cause of acute tongue swelling. We report a 42-year old men who presented to our observation with acute tongue swelling and atrophy of left side of tongue from a hypoglossal nerve injury. A magnetic resonance imaging revealed a denervation of the left half of the tongue from a hypoglossal nerve injury due to left extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) dissection, without evidence of ischemic stroke. The urine toxicology screen test revealed a positivity for cocaine. This case report suggest to perform in young patient a toxicological drug screening test in presence of ICA dissection with hypoglossal nerve injury and an acute tongue swelling. However clinical data must be performed to validate this observation and to analyze the negative effect of cocaine use.
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