Pseudoaneurysms of the superficial temporal artery secondary to placement of external ventricular drainage catheters

Surg Neurol. Sep-Oct 2002;58(3-4):258-60. doi: 10.1016/s0090-3019(02)00796-6.


Background: Pseudoaneurysms of the superficial temporal artery have been described following trauma and various surgical procedures. There are no reports in the literature of these lesions following the placement of external ventricular drainage catheters. This article describes two patients and their successful treatment, and reviews diagnostic and treatment strategies.

Case description: Two patients developed tender, nonpulsatile masses in the scalp along the former subcutaneous tract of an EVD catheter. Both lesions were successfully excised in the operating room and found to be thrombosed pseudoaneurysms of the superficial temporal artery.

Conclusion: Pseudoaneurysms of the parietal branch of the STA may occur secondary to incision of the skin for twist drill hole placement or the use of a sharp trocar for subcutaneous tunneling of catheters. Use of a blunt-tipped trocar may reduce the risk of developing pseudoaneurysms secondary to EVD placement. Knowledge of the possibility of developing these lesions from catheter placement may aid the neurosurgeon in proper diagnosis and treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneurysm, False / diagnosis
  • Aneurysm, False / etiology*
  • Aneurysm, False / surgery
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Reoperation
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Temporal Arteries / injuries*
  • Temporal Arteries / pathology
  • Ventriculostomy / adverse effects*