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Carotid-cavernous fistulas

Authors
Jeffrey L Bennett, MD, PhD
Vikram Durairaj, MD
Mithra O Gonzalez, MD
Section Editor
Paul W Brazis, MD
Deputy Editor
Janet L Wilterdink, MD

INTRODUCTION

Acquired rather than congenital vascular malformations, carotid cavernous fistulas (CCFs) may arise spontaneously or from secondary causes. CCFs can present with a variety of signs and symptoms. Many lesions are associated with significant neuro-ophthalmologic morbidity and mortality. Treatment decisions require multiple considerations: the nature of the symptoms, the location of the lesion, the complexity of the angioarchitecture, and the risk of visual and neurologic morbidity.

This topic discusses the pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of CCFs. Other vascular malformations of the central nervous system are discussed separately. (See "Brain arteriovenous malformations" and "Vascular malformations of the central nervous system".)

CLASSIFICATION

CCFs arise from abnormal communications between the carotid arteries and the cavernous sinus.

Carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) may be high or low-flow lesions:

High-flow CCFs result from a direct connection between the intracavernous carotid artery and the surrounding cavernous sinus.

                 

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Fri Dec 13 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2013.
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