Objectives: To report the results of treatment of aneurysms involving the cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery treated with a new device, the electrolytically detachable platinum coil.
Materials and methods: Between 1991 and 1995, 220 patients with intracranial aneurysms were treated with the electrolytically detachable platinum coils. Thirty-five patients (16%) harbored aneurysms involving the cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery and are the subject of this report. The presenting symptoms were cranial nerve palsies in 19 (54%), epistaxis in 4 (11%), and subarachnoid hemorrhage in 3 (9%). The age ranged from 31 to 80 years, with a mean of 58 years, and included 26 women and 9 men. The aneurysm size ranged from 5 to 22 mm, with an average of 11.6 mm.
Results: Of the seven patients who presented with bleeding (epistaxis in four, subarachnoid bleeding in three), none had bleeding after treatment. Of patients who presented with cranial nerve palsy, 58% had complete resolution of signs and symptoms and 38% showed dramatic improvement. Only one patient who presented with severe visual loss and optic atrophy was slightly worse after treatment. Two patients died from causes unrelated to their cavernous aneurysms or their endovascular treatment.
Conclusions: In patients who harbor a symptomatic aneurysm arising from the cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery with a definable neck, electrolytically detachable coils offer an excellent treatment modality that permits aneurysm closure with preservation of flow in the carotid artery.