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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1988 Jul-Aug;9(4):741-7.

Transvenous embolization of direct carotid cavernous fistulas.

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Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0628.


Of 165 cases of direct carotid cavernous fistula, 14 (8.5%) were treated from a transvenous approach. Twelve of these were treated through the inferior petrosal sinus and one through the superior ophthalmic vein. In one patient, both approaches were used. The embolic agents were as follows: five patients had balloons only, four patients had minicoils alone, three patients had coils and liquid adhesives, one had balloons and coils, and one had balloons and liquid adhesives. Among the patients who were treated from a transvenous approach, three had an occluded carotid artery caused by trauma, nine failed transarterial balloon attempts, and one had a prior trapping procedure. In the remaining patient, who had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a transarterial approach was judged to be too dangerous. This patient suffered a fatal pontine hemorrhage after subtotal transvenous occlusion of the carotid cavernous fistula with diversion of flow into cortical veins. Another complication occurred when the inferior petrosal sinus was perforated during catheterization, causing a small subarachnoid hemorrhage. The tear was immediately closed with minicoils, and surgical exposure and embolization resulted in complete cure. Of the remaining 12 patients treated, 11 were completely cured and one showed angiographic and clinical improvement. Transarterial balloon embolization remains the procedure of choice in the treatment of symptomatic carotid cavernous fistulas; however, transvenous embolization is an alternative when the arterial route fails.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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