Pseudoaneurysm of the Superficial Temporal Artery After Intracranial Pressure Monitoring Device Placement: Case Report of a Rare Complication

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2020 Sep 1;19(3):288-291. doi: 10.1093/ons/opaa151.


Background and importance: Pseudoaneurysms involving the superficial temporal artery (STA), either iatrogenic or caused by direct trauma, are rare. The STA is prone to injury due to its long course throughout the scalp. Injuries can cause cosmetic defects and/or skin breakdown leading to further complications.

Clinical presentation: We report a case of delayed iatrogenic pseudoaneurysm of the STA after placement of an intracranial pressure monitor in the setting of acute traumatic brain injury. The patient had a delayed development of a pulsatile mass over his right frontal region, with computed tomography angiography concerning for a pseudoaneurysm of the STA. This was managed with surgical resection with complete resolution of symptoms at follow-up.

Conclusion: We review the literature regarding the etiology, pathogenesis, and management of these lesions. While iatrogenic injuries to the STA have been previously reported, this is a curious case related to placement of an intracranial pressure monitor. We recommend direct surgical resection of the pseudoaneurysm for cosmetic effect and prevention of further wound breakdown.

Keywords: Critical care; ICP monitor; Neurocritical care; Pseudoaneurysm; Superficial temporal artery; Trauma.