Improvement in Visual Symptomatology after Endovascular Treatment of Cavernous Carotid Aneurysms: A Multicenter Study

J Vasc Interv Neurol. 2013 Jun;6(1):15-21.


Introduction: Aneurysms arising from the cavernous internal carotid artery (CCAs) pose technical challenges for surgical management and such patients are frequently referred for endovascular treatment. These aneurysms often produce a variety of neurological deficits, primarily those related to oculoparesis. Our purpose was to determine the visual and neurological outcome of patients with treated CCAs.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records and angiograms for patients who underwent endovascular treatment for CCAs at three academic medical centers. The following outcomes were analyzed: angiographic assessment, visual improvement and outcome at 3 months using Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS).

Results: Thirty-four patients (mean age 54.7 years) were treated for CCAs. The mean aneurysm size was 14.2 mm (range: 3-45 mm), and fourteen patients (41.2%) required stent assistance. Twenty-one aneurysms (61.8%) were completely occluded; nine aneurysms (26.6%) had near-complete occlusion; 4 aneurysms (11.8%) had partial occlusion. Seven patients (20.6%) required retreatment. Fifteen of the 34 patients (44.1%) presented with visual symptoms, while only eight patients had residual visual symptomatology at follow-up (44.1% vs. 23.5%; p=0.02). Patients that presented with visual symptoms (N=15) had a mean aneurysm size of 24.5 mm, while those without visual symptoms (N=19) had a size of 7.5 mm (p=0.001). Follow-up GOS was good (4-5) in 29 patients (90.6%). No thromboembolic complications were observed. One patient died (3.1%) of an unrelated cause.

Conclusions: Most patients in this multicenter series improved or remained stable after treatment. The results of this study indicate that endovascular treatment may improve the outcome of visual symptoms in patients with large cavernous aneurysms with low periprocedural morbidity.

Competing interests: MJA is a consultant for Stryker and Codman. AC receives a Cordis Endovascular Fellowship Training Grant and a Stryker Endovascular Neurosurgery Post-graduate Fellow Grant.

Justification of authorship: Dr. Drazin: Conception and Design, Drafting the Article and Critically Revising the Article Dr. Choulakian: Analysis and Interpretation of Data and Drafting the Article Dr. Nuno: Analysis and Interpretation of Data Dr. Gandhi: Analysis and Interpretation of Data and Drafting the Article Dr. Edgell: Analysis and Interpretation of Data and Drafting the Article Dr. Alexander: Critically Revising the Article and Conception and Design.

Keywords: Cavernous Carotid Aneurysm (CCA); Endovascular treatment; Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS); Raymond Royd (RR) Grade; Visual Sympathology.