Endovascular techniques in the treatment of extracranial carotid artery aneurysms

J Vasc Surg. 2021 Jun;73(6):2031-2035. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2020.06.133. Epub 2020 Oct 21.


Objective: Carotid artery aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms (extracranial carotid artery aneurysm [ECCAs]) are relatively rare. The gold standard treatment has historically been open repair; however, there is increasing evidence of successful treatment of ECCAs with endovascular techniques. Our study examines the evolving experience with endovascular management of ECCAs at a tertiary care center.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with ECCAs who underwent endovascular interventions at a single institution from 2010 to 2020. With increasing experience, the techniques evolved from covered stents to stent-assisted coil embolization and finally to braided stents and overlapping closed cell stents.

Results: There were 18 ECCAs in 17 patients treated with endovascular modalities. The average age was 65.9 years. There were 11 males (64.7%). Seven aneurysms (38.9%) were symptomatic: three patients had painless pulsatile masses, three patients had painful pulsatile masses, and one had transient ischemia attacks. Two (11.1%) were treated with covered stents, 2 (11.1%) were treated with stent-assisted embolization, 2 (11.1%) were treated with flow-diverting braided stents, 10 (55.6%) were treated with overlapping bare metal stents, and 2 (11.1%) were treated with embolization or ligation alone. Technical success was achieved in all patients. The mean duration of follow up was 338 days (range, 8-3039 days). No perioperative or postoperative complications were encountered, including no neurologic deficits and no embolic events. All patients were discharged on postoperative day 1 or 2. All 16 stents (100%) retained vessel patency on follow-up imaging and exclusion of ECCAs was confirmed on postprocedure surveillance imaging.

Conclusions: Endovascular modalities for the management of ECCAs have evolved with experience. Our study suggests that endovascular management is technically feasible as well as clinically effective and suggests an algorithm for navigating the various treatment modalities.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Carotid aneurysm; Carotid pseudoaneurysm; Carotid stenting; Extracranial carotid artery aneurysm.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Aneurysm, False / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, False / therapy*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / therapy*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / instrumentation
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures* / instrumentation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome