Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate aneurysm size and clinical symptoms midterm after therapeutic carotid artery occlusion in 39 patients with large or giant carotid artery aneurysms.
Methods: Between January 1996 and August 2004, 39 patients with large or giant carotid artery aneurysms were treated with therapeutic carotid artery occlusion and had clinical and magnetic resonance imaging follow-up of at least 3 months (mean, 35.9 mo; median, 29 mo; range, 3-107 mo; 117 patient-yr). Initial clinical presentation was mass effect caused by the aneurysm in 32 (82%) of the 39 patients. Three patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage and one presented with epistaxis; two aneurysms were an incidental finding and one was additional to another ruptured aneurysm.
Results: There were no early or late complications of therapeutic carotid artery occlusion. All aneurysms seemed to have thrombosed completely after carotid artery occlusion as observed on early and late magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance angiographic follow-up studies. At the time of the most recent magnetic resonance imaging follow-up study, 29 (74%) of the 39 aneurysms involuted totally, two aneurysms decreased to 25% of the original diameter, two aneurysms decreased to 50%, and five aneurysms decreased to 75%. Two aneurysms remained unchanged in size after 49 and 58 months, respectively. At the most recent clinical follow-up evaluation, symptoms of mass effect were cured in 19 (60%), improved in 10 (31%), and remained unchanged in three (9%) of the 32 patients.
Conclusion: Therapeutic carotid artery occlusion was a simple, safe, and effective treatment for large and giant carotid artery aneurysms. Almost all aneurysms involute completely or substantially decrease in size. Alleviation of symptoms of mass effect was achieved in most patients.