Thirty symptomatic indirect carotid cavernous fistulas were treated between 1978 and 1986 with a variety of treatment modalities. Combined carotid artery and jugular vein compression resulted in a complete cure in seven of 23 patients (30%) and improvement in one additional patient. There were no complications from this treatment, which is performed by the patient on an outpatient basis. Patients in whom carotid jugular compression therapy failed or who demonstrated cortical venous drainage or visual decline were treated with intravascular embolization. Embolization resulted in complete cure in 17 of 22 (77%) and improvement in four of 22 (18%). One patient required surgical excision of the involved dura after embolization to achieve complete cure. There was one permanent complication (stroke), which resulted in mild weakness caused by clot formation on a catheter.