Management of carotid cavernous fistulas : a single center experience

Purpose: Multimodal endovascular therapy (EVT) of carotid cavernous fistula (CCF) with different approaches and a variety of available embolization material enable high occlusion rates with good clinical and functional outcome but until now there is still little evidence available. This retrospective single-center study aims to evaluate EVT of CCF with different neuroendovascular techniques regarding occlusion rates, complications and outcomes.

Materials and methods: From 2001 to 2021 59 patients with CCF were treated at our tertiary university hospital. Patient records and all imaging data including angiograms were reviewed for demographic and epidemiological data, symptoms, fistula type, number of EVTs, complications of EVT, type of embolic materials, occlusion rates and recurrences.

Results: Etiology of the CCF were spontaneous (41/59, 69.5%) post-traumatic (13/59, 22%) and ruptured cavernous aneurysms (5/59, 8.5%). Endovascular therapy was completed in one session in 74.6% (44/59). Transvenous access was most frequent (55.9% 33/59) followed by transarterial catheterization in 33.9% (20/59) and a combination of both (6/59, 10.2%). Exclusively coils were used in 45.8% (27/59), a combination of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer (Onyx) and coils in 42.4% (25/59). Complete obliteration was achieved in 96.6% of patients (57/59) with an intraprocedural-related complication rate of 5.1% (3/59) and no mortality.

Conclusion: Endovascular therapy of CCF has been shown to be safe and effective with high cure rates and low rates of intraprocedural complications and morbidity even in complex scenarios.


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