Embolization through the thyrocervical trunk: vascular anatomy, variants, and a case series

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Abstract

Background and purpose

The thyrocervical trunk (TCT) is the second ascending branch of the subclavian artery. It is considered a ‘border territory’ between interventional vascular radiology and interventional neuroradiology because it gives rise to branches both cervical and to the upper limbs. We describe the TCT branches anatomy, the most frequent variants, and expose eight endovascular procedures performed through the thyrocervical trunk.

Methods

A retrospective review of all the interventional radiology procedures carried out through the TCT in our tertiary care center from August 2014 to January 2017 is presented.

Results

A total of eight endovascular procedures through the TCT including six preoperative embolizations: three paragangliomas, a cervical vertebral metastasis, a cervical vertebral aneurysmal bone cyst, and a very rare case of nerve root extradural cervical hemangioblastoma, as well as two emergency embolizations: a patient with a cervical traumatic active bleeding hematoma and a recurrent hemoptysis in a single ventricle patient.

Conclusions

A correct knowledge of the vascular anatomy, anatomical variants, and anastomosis (especially with the anterior spinal artery) of the TCT is essential for a safe embolization, both preoperatively and on an emergency basis. In cases of recurrent hemoptysis and severe lower-neck injuries, the TCT should always be reviewed.

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