Treatment of a carotid cavernous fistula via direct transovale cavernous sinus puncture

Technical note

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  • 1 Interventional Neuroradiology Unit and
  • 5 Neurosurgery Service, Hospital Clinico San Carlos;
  • 2 Neurosurgery Service, Hospital San Francisco Asis, Madrid;
  • 4 Interventional Neuroradiology Unit, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain; and
  • 3 Interventional Neuroradiology Section, Departments of Neurosurgery and Radiology, LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana
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Endovascular treatment is the treatment of choice for indirect carotid cavernous fistulas (CCFs). Direct surgical obliteration of CCFs is recommended in highly symptomatic patients or in those with an aggressive pattern of venous drainage. However, this is a technically challenging approach associated with significant procedural morbidity. The authors present a case in which they decided to attempt a novel access to the cavernous sinus through the foramen ovale before recommending surgery for an otherwise untreatable dural CCF.

This 52-year-old man with an indirect CCF and neurological deficit had undergone several attempts to embolize the shunt by means of the standard approaches. Ultimately direct cavernous sinus access was obtained through the foramen ovale, resulting in complete obliteration of the shunt. The occlusion was radiographically stable at the 6-month follow-up evaluation, and the patient has remained asymptomatic. Percutaneous transovale puncture of a CCF is a feasible alternative to accessing the cavernous sinus when traditional transvenous catheterization or direct superior ophthalmic vein approach is not possible.

Abbreviations used in this paper:AP = anteroposterior; CCF = carotid cavernous fistula; ICA = internal carotid artery.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Alberto Gil, M.D., Interventional Neuroradiology, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Calle de Profesor Martín Lagos, S/N, Madrid 28040, Spain. email: agil_garcia@yahoo.com.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online May 10, 2013; DOI: 10.3171/2013.4.JNS121504.

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