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Endovascular Treatment of Carotid Blowout Syndrome

      Abstract

      Background

      Carotid blowout syndrome (CBS) is a life-threatening disease characterized by compromise of the carotid artery by head and neck cancer (HNC).

      Materials and methods

      We reviewed the characteristics and outcomes of all patients with carotid blowout syndrome who were treated between April 2010 and December 2019. Twelve patients with a history of HNC and radiation therapy were investigated. The balloon occlusion test (BOT) was performed in all patients to confirm collateral circulation. We placed a stent in patients who were intolerant to the BOT.

      Results

      The patients’ ages ranged from 50 to 81 years (mean: 68.1 years). Therapeutic occlusion of the affected internal carotid artery was performed in nine patients, while stenting was performed in three patients. Immediate hemostasis was achieved in all patients. Patients treated using stents were administered perioperative DAPT. One patient experienced rebleeding after surgery. Two patients had procedure-related cerebral infarctions. One patient died, but the others survived without major neurological deficits. One patient had persistent aneurysm after surgery that resolved over time.

      Conclusion

      Endovascular treatment via occlusion or stent-based reconstruction of the internal carotid artery resulted in immediate hemostasis. Carotid occlusion and covered stent application are safe and efficient techniques to treat CBS secondary to HNC. Surgeons may obtain better outcomes if they perform BOT before occlusion and design treatment accordingly.

      Key Words

      Abbreviation:

      CBS (Carotid blowout syndrome), HNC (Head and neck cancer), BOT (Balloon occlusion test), DSA (Digital subtraction angiography), CT (Computed tomography), ICA (Internal carotid artery), CCA (Common carotid artery)
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