Carotid-cavernous fistulas

Neurosurg Focus. 2012 May;32(5):E9. doi: 10.3171/2012.2.FOCUS1223.


Carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) are vascular shunts allowing blood to flow from the carotid artery into the cavernous sinus. The characteristic clinical features seen in patients with CCFs are the sequelae of hemodynamic dysfunction within the cavernous sinus. Once routinely treated with open surgical procedures, including carotid ligation or trapping and cavernous sinus exploration, endovascular therapy is now the treatment modality of choice in many cases. The authors provide a review of CCFs, detailing the current classification and clinical management of these lesions. Therapeutic options including conservative management, open surgery, endovascular intervention, and radiosurgical therapy are presented. The complications and treatment results as reported in the contemporary literature are also reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula* / diagnosis
  • Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula* / epidemiology
  • Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula* / therapy
  • Humans