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Neurol Res. 2012 Jul;34(6):523-9. doi: 10.1179/1743132812Y.0000000036. Epub 2012 May 30.

Combined preoperative onyx embolization and protective internal carotid artery covered stent placement for treatment of glomus vagale tumor: review of literature and illustrative case.

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Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, USA.



Surgical resection of complex glomus vagale tumors can be complicated by extensive blood loss and might require surgical sacrifice of an encased internal carotid artery.


A young patient presented with mass effect from glomus valage tumor. Computerized tomography angiography showed an encased internal carotid artery. Cerebral angiography demonstrated a highly vascular tumor. A literature review was performed for endovascular treatment options for neck tumors.


Staged preoperative embolization of feeder arteries via internal maxillary artery, and thyrocervical trunk with onyx was performed. A covered stent was implanted in the cervical internal carotid artery to the common carotid artery; this resulted in complete devascularization of the tumor with exclusion of external carotid artery from the circulation. This is followed by surgical resection of the tumor.


Preoperative embolization with onyx decreased the amount of blood loss intra-operatively. The implantation of a covered stent in the cervical internal carotid artery through the common carotid artery contributed for further devasculatization of the tumor bed, as well as provided a lumen continuity in case iatrogenic carotid injury is encountered intra-operatively.

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