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Management of extracranial carotid artery aneurysms: 17 years' experience.

OBJECTIVES: a retrospective review of seventeen-year (1980-1996) experience of the management of extracranial carotid artery aneurysms.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: sixty-six aneurysms of extracranial carotid artery were seen in 63 patients. The diagnosis was confirmed by angiography in 51 patients and duplex ultrasonography in twelve. Twenty-eight (42%) patients had an atherosclerotic aneurysm, twenty-two (33%) had false aneurysms secondary to trauma, nine were congenital and seven were mycotic. All underwent aneurysm resection with saphenous-vein-graft interposition as the most common means of reconstruction.

RESULTS: one death occurred due to septicaemia in a diabetic patient with a mycotic aneurysm, giving an operative mortality of 1.5%. One patient had an immediate hemiparesis after carotid artery ligation, and three had a hemiparesis within 48 hours of operation (6.1%). After a change in technique to avoid a residual carotid stump, no further neurological problems were encountered in the following 28 patients.

CONCLUSION: extracranial carotid aneurysms may be successfully managed with resection and reconstruction with autogenous saphenous vein. End-to-side anastomosis avoids a blind-ending stump which may be the source of emboli.

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