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Management of Noncatastrophic Internal Carotid Artery Injury in Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery


Arterial injuries are the most feared complication of endoscopic skull base surgery. During resection of the middle fossa component of a large ventral skull base chondrosarcoma, arterial bleeding was encountered near the right internal carotid artery (ICA). Durable hemostasis could not be achieved with packing and the patient was taken for an emergent angiogram that revealed a pseudoaneurysm of the proximal intradural ICA. Given the presence of good collateral flow through the anterior and posterior communicating arteries, the right ICA was sacrificed by coil embolization. The patient was taken back to the operating room for closure then transferred to the intensive care unit and maintained on vasopressors for five days to ensure adequate perfusion. The right ICA was coil embolized and the patient was taken back to the operating room for closure. The patient recovered without complication. Arterial injuries, although serious, are not always catastrophic. Critical steps are immediate recognition of bleeding, vascular imaging, and vessel sacrifice if necessary.

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