OBJECTIVE: To report our experience with covered stents for the prevention or treatment of carotid blowout syndrome secondary to head and neck cancer to ascertain the safety and efficacy of this technique.
METHODS: We reviewed the characteristics and outcome of all patients who underwent covered stent placement in the extracranial carotid artery in the setting of head and neck malignancy between 2006 and 2013 at the University of Miami. Patient demographics, presenting symptoms, devices used, perioperative complications, imaging, and follow-up data were reviewed.
RESULTS: Seventeen carotids in 15 patients, whose ages ranged from 20 to 84 years (mean, 70.4 years), were treated with 20 covered nitinol (Viabahn Endoprosthesis, Gore, Flagstaff, Arizona) stents. Three patients were treated acutely for bleeding from carotid blowout, and 12 were treated prophylactically for threatened carotid blowout. All patients were given periprocedural dual antiplatelet therapy. No thromboembolic or ischemic complications were noted. Hemorrhage after treatment occurred in 4 patients. In 2 patients, the hemorrhage was from a source not covered by the stent.
CONCLUSION: The use of covered stents is a simple, safe, and effective method for treating or preventing carotid blowout syndrome in patients with head and neck malignancy. Carotid artery reconstruction with covered stents may minimize the risk of ischemic complications associated with endovascular or surgical carotid sacrifice.
From: Covered Stents for the Prevention and Treatment of Carotid Blowout Syndrome by Gaynor et al.
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