Endovascular Stenting for the Treatment of Traumatic Internal Carotid Injuries: Expanding Experience

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The role of endovascular techniques in the treatment of traumatic vascular injuries, including injury to the internal carotid artery, continues to evolve. Despite growing experience with the usage of these techniques in the setting of artherosclerotic disease, published results in traumatic carotid injuries remain sporadic and confined to case reports and case series.


We conducted a review of the medical literature from 1990 to the present date using the Pubmed and OVID Medline databases to search for all reports documenting the use of endovascular stenting for the treatment of carotid injuries. Thirty-one published reports were analyzed to abstract data regarding mechanism, location, and type of injury; use and type of anticoagulation used in conjunction with stenting; type and timing of radiographic and clinical follow-up; and radiographic and clinical outcomes.


The use of endovascular stenting for the treatment of internal carotid injuries was reported for only 113 patients from 1994 to the present date. Stenting was most commonly used after a blunt mechanism of injury (77.0%). The injury types treated by stenting included pseudoaneurysm (60.2%), arteriovenous fistula (16.8%), dissection (14.2%), partial transection (4.4%), occlusion (2.7%), intimal flap (0.9%), and aneurysm (0.9%). Initial endovascular stent placement was successful in 76.1% of patients. Radiographic and clinical follow-up periods ranging from 2 weeks to 2 years revealed a follow-up patency of 79.6%. No stent-related mortalities were reported. New neurologic deficits after stent placement occurred in 3.5%.


Endovascular treatment of traumatic internal carotid artery injury continues to evolve. Early results are encouraging, but experience with this modality and data on late follow-up are still very limited. A large prospective randomized trial is warranted to further define the role of this treatment modality in the setting of trauma.

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