Preoperative protective stenting of the internal carotid artery in the management of complex head and neck paragangliomas: long-term results

Audiol Neurootol. 2013;18(6):345-52. doi: 10.1159/000354158. Epub 2013 Oct 4.


Objectives: To investigate the long-term results of preoperative stenting of the internal carotid artery (ICA) in complex head and neck paragangliomas (HNP) as well as to report on indications and technical details of the procedure.

Method: A comprehensive retrospective review of patients affected by HNP, consecutively operated on and preoperatively treated with stenting of the ICA in a quaternary referral skull base center, was performed.

Results: Nineteen patients affected by complex HNP were identified, on whom 21 preoperative stenting procedures were performed. The mean follow-up period after stent insertion was 53.8 months; the patients' age ranged from 33 to 56 years. Fourteen patients were affected by tympanojugular paragangliomas, 4 by vagal paragangliomas and 1 by bilateral carotid body tumors. Five patients presented with recurrent tumors, while 7 presented with multiple or bilateral HNP. There were no complications associated with endovascular procedures. Total tumor removal was accomplished in 52.4% of the cases with 1 recurrence. An advanced stage was the main factor conditioning total removal. Clinical control was obtained in 80% of the patients with residual disease. Total tumor removal from and around the ICA was obtained in 95.2% of the cases. Long-term stent patency was evident in 20 of 21 cases.

Conclusions: Preoperative stenting of the ICA represents a safe and effective procedure in selected cases, obviating the need for balloon occlusion or bypass procedures and reducing the risk of intraoperative vascular injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carotid Artery, Internal*
  • Carotid Body Tumor / surgery
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomus Jugulare Tumor / surgery
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Paraganglioma, Extra-Adrenal / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents*
  • Vagus Nerve / surgery