Surgical treatment of extracranial internal carotid artery dissecting aneurysms

Neurosurgery. 1994 Nov;35(5):809-15; discussion 815-6. doi: 10.1227/00006123-199411000-00002.


Aneurysms of the extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) are uncommon. A significant proportion of such aneurysms are now recognized to be caused by arterial dissection. In some patients, surgical treatment may become necessary. The surgical treatment of 22 patients with spontaneous or traumatic dissecting aneurysms arising from the extracranial ICAs is reviewed. The mean age of the 7 women and 15 men was 39 years. The aneurysm arose from the proximal third of the extracranial ICA in 1 patient, from the middle third in 1 patient, and from the distal third in 20 patients. Five patients underwent cervical carotid ligation; in 13 patients, the aneurysms were resected, and the ICAs were reconstructed, and 4 patients underwent cervical-to-intracranial ICA bypasses. There were 2 postoperative strokes (9%). Facial and lower cranial nerve palsies were commonly seen after high cervical exposure, but these cranial nerve palsies were transient. There were no long-term neurological sequelae during a mean follow-up of 6.2 years. In our relatively limited experience, extracranial ICA dissecting aneurysms can be treated with acceptable morbidity using a variety of techniques. However, the indications for surgical intervention in these aneurysms remain limited.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / surgery*
  • Aneurysm, False / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, False / surgery
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / surgery*
  • Carotid Artery Injuries
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / surgery*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebral Revascularization
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Ligation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnostic imaging