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J Pediatr Surg. 2007 Nov;42(11):1961-8.

Extracranial carotid arteries aneurysms in children: single-center experiences in 4 patients and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Vascular Surgery and Kidney Transplantation, University Hospital, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.



Extracranial carotid artery aneurysms (ECAAs) are very rare conditions in children but carry a great potential of thromboembolic episodes and ruptures.


To determine the clinical and therapeutic characteristics of ECAA in children in our department, we reviewed the patients' records and completed the data from phone correspondence, written survey, and clinical examination.


From January 1981 to June 2006, 4 patients younger than 18 years were surgically treated for ECAA in our department. They were 3 boys and 1 girl. A medical history of tonsillectomy was reported in 3 patients. The aneurysm was symptomatic in all of the patients, local signs being present in every patient. The aneurysm caused hemispheric symptoms in 1 patient and finally stroke. The aneurysms were located in the common carotid artery, in the external carotid artery, and 2 in the internal carotid artery. The cause was congenital, mycotic, and traumatic (post tonsillectomy); for 1 patient, the etiology remained unknown. Aneurysm resection and interposition with vein graft were performed in 3 patients. The external carotid artery aneurysm was resected without reconstruction. There was no perioperative death or stroke. During the early follow-up period, 1 patient had a transient dysphagia and another a transient facial palsy. The patient with preoperative stroke remained with a neurologic deficit. All these patients were followed since the operation. The patient operated on in 1981 is asymptomatic after 25 years, but the graft became occluded 3 years after the operation. The patient who had recurrent attacks is still with residual neurologic deficit. The 2 other patients are without complains; the reconstructions remain patent.


Although very rare, ECAA can be encountered even in the pediatric population. The past medical history may reveal a tonsillectomy, although the relation may not be easy to establish. Local signs may be accompanied by hemispheric thromboembolic complications, rupture, and bleeding. Therefore, surgical treatment is indicated, but can be challenging according to the anatomical location of the aneurysm.

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