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Dissection-related carotid-cavernous fistula (CCF) following surgical revascularization of chronic internal carotid artery occlusion: a new subtype of CCF and proposed management.



The development of carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) during surgical recanalization of chronic internal carotid artery occlusion (ICAO) may be secondary to severe ICA dissection rather than a focal tear of the cavernous ICA seen in typical traumatic CCFs. The purpose of this study is to investigate the causal relationship between the CCFs and severe ICA dissections and to characterize technical outcomes after treatment with stenting.


Five patients underwent treatment with self-expanding stents due to intraprocedural CCF and ICA dissection following surgical removal of ICAO plaque. The stents were telescopically placed via true channel of the dissection. Safety of the procedure was evaluated with 30-day stroke and death rate. Procedural success was determined by the efficacy of CCF obliteration and ICAO recanalization with angiography.


All CCFs were associated with spiral and long segmental dissection from the cervical to cavernous ICA. After stenting, successful dissection reconstruction with TICI 3 was achieved in all patients, with complete (n = 4) or partial CCF (n = 1) obliteration. No patient had CCF syndrome, stroke, or death during follow-up of 6 to 37 months; but one patient had pulsatile tinnitus, which resolved 1 year later. Angiography at 6 to 24 months demonstrated CCF obliteration in all 5 patients and durable ICA patency in 4 patients.


Intraprocedural CCFs with spiral and cervical-to-cavernous ICA dissection during ICAO surgery are dissection-related because of successful obliteration after stenting for dissection reconstruction. Self-expanding stenting through true channel of the dissection, serving as implanting stent-autograft, may be an optimal therapy for the atypical CCF complication from ICAO surgery.

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