Current concepts on carotid artery-cavernous sinus fistulas

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With greater understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms by which carotid artery-cavernous sinus fistulas occur, and with improved endovascular devices, more appropriate and definitive treatments are being performed. The authors define cartoid cavernous fistulas based on an accepted classification system and the signs and symptoms related to these fistulas are described. Angiographic evaluation of the risk the lesion may pose for precipitating stroke or visual loss in the patient is discussed. The literature on treatment alternatives for the different types of fistulas including transvenous, transarterial, and conservative management is reviewed.

With greater understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms by which carotid artery-cavernous sinus fistulas occur, and with improved endovascular devices, more appropriate and definitive treatments are being performed. The authors define cartoid cavernous fistulas based on an accepted classification system and the signs and symptoms related to these fistulas are described. Angiographic evaluation of the risk the lesion may pose for precipitating stroke or visual loss in the patient is discussed. The literature on treatment alternatives for the different types of fistulas including transvenous, transarterial, and conservative management is reviewed.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Stanley L. Barnwell, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery (L472), Oregon Health Sciences University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97201-3098. email: barnwesl@ohsu.edu.

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