Endovascular therapy of traumatic vascular lesions of the head and neck

Orlando M. Diaz, Francisco J. Arraiza, John M. Barkley, Cliff J. Whigham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Pseudoaneurysm and fistula formation are well-documented complications of arterial vascular injury and may be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the presentation and therapy of patients with traumatic vascular injuries of the head and neck. Eight patients were admitted to a Level 1 Trauma Center and diagnostic angiography of the carotid artery and vertebral circulation was performed. The mechanisms of injury included motor vehicle accident, gunshot wound, stab wound and aggravated assault. Cause of trauma, vascular lesion, endovascular therapy and outcome were analyzed retrospectively. The angiographic findings, clinical presentation and hospital course were reviewed. There were eight patients, seven males and one female, aged 17-65. Four patients (50%) had multiple lesions; four had pseudoaneurysms, two with fistula formation and two with active arterial hemorrhage. A total of 17 lesions were embolized using coils, Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), Gelfoam or a combination. Two of the 17 lesions received stents. Six of the eight patients remained clinically improved or stable at varying follow-up intervals. One of the four patients who presented with penetrating trauma and neurological deficits had resolution of right hemiplegia at the 8th month follow-up. One of the four patients who sustained blunt trauma and carotid-cavernous fistula presented with a new pseudoaneurysm at the 2-month post-embolization follow-up. The evolution of diagnostic neuroangiographic techniques provides opportunities for endovascular therapy of traumatic vascular lesions of the head and neck that are minimally invasive, attractive options in selected cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Carotid or vertebral trauma
  • Embolization
  • Endovascular therapy
  • Fistula
  • Pseudoaneurysm
  • Stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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