Endovascular approach as primary treatment for traumatic carotid cavernous fistula: local experience from Pakistan

Rana Shoaib Hamid, Aga Khan University
Tanveer-ul-Haq, Aga Khan University
Muhammad Shahzad Shamim, Aga Khan University
Syed Faraz Kazim, Aga Khan University
Basit Salam, Aga Khan University


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the technical success, complications and outcome of endovascular management of post traumatic carotid cavernous fistula (CCF) in patients presenting at a tertiary care hospital in Karahci.

METHODS: Descriptive case series of 26 patients of post traumatic CCF treated by endovascular techniques was carried out at Radiology and Neurosurgery departments of Aga Khan University hospital between January 2010 to March 2010. Medical records and radiology reports were retrospectively reviewed from November 2000 to December 2009. The diagnosis was primarily clinical and was confirmed in all cases by CT or MRI. Endovascular procedures were performed under general anaesthesia through femoral artery or femoral vein approach. Detachable balloons pushable coils and/or glue was used for fistula closure. Follow up was done via medical records and on phone. Technical success and safety of the procedure were analyzed and outcome in terms of symptomatic improvement was recorded wherever available.

RESULTS: Out of a total of 26 patients; 20 were male and 6 were female, with age range of 14 to 62 years, mean age 31.4 +/- 12.6 years. Technical success rate of endovascular embolization was 92.3% (24 out of 26 patients). Procedure could not be performed in 2 patients. In 20 out of 24 patients (83.3%) single session of embolization was performed while 4 patients required 2 sessions due to recurrence. In one of these patients the detachable balloon deflated after 2 hours of deployment and another session of embolization was immediately carried out by deploying a larger sized balloon. Complication rate was 15.3% (n = 4) one patient had infarction which recovered completely in 6 months. There was no procedure related mortality. Five patients were lost to follow up. In rest of the 19 patients follow up ranged from 1 to 14 months (Mean 11.0 +/- 11.8 months) 8 out of 19 (42.1%) patients showed complete resolution of symptoms and 9 (47.3%) reported improvement.

CONCLUSION: Endovascular approach is a safe and useful option for treatment of traumatic carotid cavernous fistula.