Embolization for Carotid Blowout in Head and Neck Cancer: Case Report of Five Patients.

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Carotid blowout syndrome (CBS) is defined as a rupture of common carotid artery or its branches. Endovascular intervention has been advocated as first line of treatment for CBS. This Case Report describes 5 patients with prior history of head and neck cancer who presented with CBS. Two patients presented as acute, 2 as impending, and one as threatened CBS. The lesions found were pseudoaneurysm and focal vascular irregularities involving the common carotid artery, cervical internal carotid artery and lingual artery. Embolization and occlusion with detachable coils of the artery was used in all patients. Technical success and immediate hemostasis were achieved in all patients. One patient presented transient cranial nerve palsy. No recurrent CBS was reported during the follow-up. In our experience, coil embolization, if possible, is a safe and efficient technique in treatment of CBS secondary to head and neck cancers.

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Authors: Mario Sánchez-Canteli, Juan P Rodrigo, Eduardo Murias Quintana, Pedro Vega, José Luis Llorente, Fernando López