Aneurysms of the petrous portion of the internal carotid artery: results of treatment with endovascular or surgical occlusion.

Department of Radiology, University of California Hospitals, San Francisco 94143.
American Journal of Neuroradiology (Impact Factor: 3.59). 11(2):253-7.
Source: PubMed


Seven patients with symptomatic aneurysms involving the petrous segment of the internal carotid artery were treated by endovascular techniques (six patients) or surgical ligation (one patient). Patients' ages at the time of treatment ranged from 7 to 62 years (mean, 30 years). The presenting symptoms were pain (seven patients), eighth nerve dysfunction (three patients), seventh nerve dysfunction (one patient), fifth nerve dysfunction (two patients), and bruit (one patient). Two patients, ages 7 and 19, respectively, presented with giant, partially thrombosed petrous aneurysms and had hemiatrophy of the body ipsilateral to the side of the aneurysm. Only one patient had a history of trauma; aneurysms in the remaining patients were presumed to be congenital in origin. In one patient with a saccular aneurysm, a balloon could be navigated into the aneurysm, obliterating it but preserving the parent artery. The remaining six patients had fusiform aneurysms with intraluminal thrombus and underwent proximal occlusion (four patients) or trapping procedure (two patients). In all patients, symptoms were alleviated after thrombosis of the aneurysm. The only complication was a transient visual loss in a hypercoagulable patient, occurring after carotid occlusion. Petrous carotid aneurysms can produce a wide clinical spectrum of signs and symptoms in younger patients; these aneurysms frequently are fusiform and contain chronic thrombus. They can be treated effectively by endovascular or surgical occlusive procedures.

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    ABSTRACT: The petrous and cavernous segments of the extradural internal carotid artery take a complex course through the skull base before entering the subarachnoid space distal to the cavernous sinus. Despite the protection from trauma afforded by the anatomy, the petrous and carotid internal carotid artery (ICA) segments of the vessel remains subject to disease, the most important of which are aneurysms. Aneurysms affecting the petrous portion of the vessel are extremely uncommon, and presentation with otologic symptoms is unusual. These symptoms include hearing loss, tinnitus, and life threatening hemorrhage. This article emphasizes the need for a high level of suspicion for aneurysm as a potential cause for otologic symptoms. We report and discuss three cases of petrous carotid aneurysms with otologic manifestations to increase the awareness and aid in the diagnosis and treatment of this uncommon disorder. The medical records and imaging studies of three patients presenting to our institution with aneurysms involving the petrous internal carotid artery were reviewed. One presented with progressive bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. The next patient presented with pulsatile tinnitus. The last patient presented to the emergency room unresponsive with severe epistaxis. All three patients had imaging studies revealing petrous carotid aneurysms. Each patient had symptoms related to the aneurysms ranging from hearing loss, tinnitus, and life-threatening hemorrhage. Petrous carotid aneurysms are rare, and presentation with otologic symptoms is unusual. Awareness of these lesions as a cause of otologic symptoms, however, is highly important. These cases also illustrate the usefulness of endovascular treatments for aneurysms of the petrous portion of the internal carotid artery, which are extremely difficult to treat by using an open surgical approach.
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