Presentation and management of carotid artery aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms

J Vasc Surg. 2012 Jun;55(6):1618-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2011.12.054. Epub 2012 Feb 15.


Objective: The objective of this study was to review a single-institution contemporary experience with extracranial aneurysms of the carotid artery.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of patients evaluated for an aneurysm of the extracranial carotid artery from 2005 to 2010. Demographics, presentation, and operative management were reviewed. The mean follow-up was 22 months (range, 1-58 months).

Results: Over the study period, 16 aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms were identified in 15 patients. Of these, 14 aneurysms (in six men and eight women with mean age of 63 years) underwent surgical repair. The mean aneurysm size was 2.45 cm (range, 0.8-5 cm). One aneurysm (7.1%) was associated with neurologic symptoms, and 13 were asymptomatic. The underlying etiology was trauma in five (35.7%), prior carotid endarterectomy in five (35.7%), and degenerative atherosclerosis in four (28.6%). Aneurysms were isolated to the common carotid artery in six (42.9%), internal carotid artery in five (35.7%), and carotid bifurcation in three (21.4%). Five patients underwent aneurysmectomy with primary repair, seven underwent repair with an interposition graft, one required an innominate to common carotid artery bypass, and one patient had a plication and patch angioplasty. No mortalities or neurologic events were documented within 30 days. One patient had transient cranial nerve palsy. One patient required reintervention at 4 months for stenosis of the bypass graft, and one patient died at 10 months from an unrelated condition. There were no neurologic events on follow-up.

Conclusions: Carotid artery aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms are uncommon and usually asymptomatic. Prior trauma and carotid surgery were common etiologies. The location of the aneurysms was equally distributed between the internal and common carotid arteries. Surgical repair was safe and effective with no significant morbidity or mortality and good midterm stroke prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Aneurysm / etiology
  • Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Aneurysm, False / diagnosis
  • Aneurysm, False / etiology
  • Aneurysm, False / surgery*
  • Angioplasty
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnosis
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / etiology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / surgery*
  • Carotid Artery, Common / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Common / surgery*
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Young Adult