Endovascular treatment of the carotid artery rupture with massive hemorrhage

J Chin Med Assoc. 2003 Mar;66(3):140-7.


Background: To assess the efficacy and safety of endovascular embolization in the treatment of the carotid artery rupture.

Methods: A series of 21 patients who had carotid artery rupture (CAR) with massive transoronasal or transcervical hemorrhage, all treated with endovascular embolization, were reviewed. There were 17 males and 4 females ranging in age from 21 to 79 years, with a mean of 47 years. The predisposing factors of the CAR were head and neck tumors associated with surgical treatment and/or post-radiation therapy (n = 17), surgical complications (n = 1) and trauma (n = 3). Detachable balloons with liquid adhesives were used in 13 patients for vascular occlusion and obliteration of pseudoaneurysm of the internal or common carotid artery. Liquid adhesives and/or coils were used in 8 patients, in whom only the branches of the external carotid artery were involved (n = 6), or obliteration of a pseudoaneurysm with preservation of the ICA (n = 2).

Results: Endovascular treatment was technically successful in all 21 cases of the CAR with cessation of profuse hemorrhage immediately after embolization. No recurrence of bleeding was observed. Two patients developed permanent hemiparesis several hours later after occlusion of the carotid artery (10%). Three patients had a transient ischemic attack; all returned to normal neurological conditions later (14%). Ten patients having advanced head and neck carcinoma died during follow-up period owing to the disease itself. Clinical follow-up period for these patients lasted 2 to 48 months, with a mean of 16 months.

Conclusions: Therapeutic endovascular embolization of the CAR is the primary invasive modality for treating CAR with profuse hemorrhage. It was proven both safe and effective over a relatively long follow-up period.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / etiology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / therapy*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rupture, Spontaneous