Histological Analysis of Extracranial Carotid Artery Aneurysms
OBJECTIVES Extracranial carotid artery aneurysms (ECAAs) are rare vascular lesions, and large series with short-term and long-term outcomes are seldom reported. This study compared the clinical presentation and conventional treatment outcomes of different ECAA types according to their etiology. METHODS We retrospectively reviewed the data of 55 consecutive patients (47 men, 8 women) with 61 ECAAs who were treated from January 1986 to December 2007 by conventional surgical techniques. The patients were a mean age of 65 +/- 11 years (range, 30-92 years). Thirty-two ECAAs (52.5%) occurred postoperatively after previous carotid endarterectomy, of which 26 patients had 29 degenerative aneurysms (47.5%). Clinical presentation included cerebral stroke in three patients (4.9%) and transient ischemic attack in 26 (42.7%). Mean follow-up was 42.7 +/- 22.0 months. Statistical analysis was performed within and between degenerative and post-reconstructive ECAA subgroups of patients. RESULTS Open aneurysm resection included 27 extended polytetrafluoroethylene interposition grafts, 12 venous grafts, and 22 closures using synthetic patch. Cumulative 1-year primary patency rates were 86.9% for the degenerative ECAAs and 96% for the postoperative ECAAs, with respective secondary patency rate at 5 years of 80% and 93.3%. The 5-year patency rate was 88.9% for synthetic grafts compared with 66.7% for vein grafts and 86.4% for synthetic patches. These differences were not statistically significant (P > .05). Complications for the degenerative ECAAs included two reconstruction thromboses <30 days, two cerebral strokes, and one myocardial infarction. The patients with postoperative ECAAs experienced one early thrombosis and two strokes postoperatively. Two patients (3.6%) from the degenerative ECAA subgroup died of cardiac decompensation (n = 1) and cerebral ischemic event (n = 1). CONCLUSIONS Despite the different trends, no significant differences were found between degenerative ECAA and postoperative ECAA patients in clinical presentation, localization, and surgery outcomes. The good middle-term and long-term patency rates of synthetic graft reconstruction justify its use in the treatment of ECAAs, and it is less time consuming and technically demanding compared with vein interposition graft.