Although there have been reports of carotid artery pseudoaneurysm formation after adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy secondary to iatrogenic injury, there are no case reports of successful endovascular reconstruction of the injured artery in the pediatric population. In most pediatric cases, the internal carotid artery (ICA) is sacrificed. The authors report on a 6-year-old girl who presented with odynophagia, left-sided Horner's syndrome, hematemesis, and severe anemia 6 months after a tonsillectomy. On examination she was found to have a pulsatile mass along the left posterior lateral oropharynx, and imaging demonstrated a dissection of the extracranial left ICA and an associated pseudoaneurysm. The lesion was managed endovascularly with stent-assisted coil embolization and ICA reconstruction. The child had a somewhat complicated postoperative course, requiring additional coil embolization for treatment of a minor recurrence of the pseudoaneurysm at 5 months after the initial treatment and then presenting with extrusion of a portion of the coil mass into the oropharyngeal cavity a year later. She underwent surgical removal of the extruded coils and repair of the defect and has since been free of symptoms or signs of recurrence.
The authors conclude that this strategy definitively protected the patient against an oral exsanguination or aspiration event secondary to aneurysm rupture and reduced her risk of stroke by preserving vessel patency and caliber. Moreover, they note that covered stent reconstruction surrenders endovascular access and cannot immediately provide these benefits.