Ahead of Print: Reconstruction of the Internal Carotid Artery After Treatment of Complex Traumatic Direct Carotid-Cavernous Fistulas With the Willis Covered Stent: A Retrospective Study With Long-Term Follow-up

BACKGROUND: Endovascular treatment of complex traumatic direct carotid-cavernous fistulas (TDCCFs) is a challenge.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the long-term efficacy of the Willis covered stent in endovascular treatment of complex TDCCFs, focusing on reconstruction and preservation of the internal carotid artery.

METHODS: During the past 8 years, 25 patients with 27 TDCCFs who previously had unsuccessful treatment of fistulas with detachable balloons received endovascular treatment with Willis covered stents. The efficacy, complications, in-stent stenosis, angiographic, and clinical follow-up results were evaluated retrospectively between 6 and 88 months (mean, 43.8 months) after the stent placement.

RESULTS: The technical success rate of stenting placement was 100%. Forty-four Willis covered stents were implanted into the target artery of 27 TDCCFs. Complete exclusion was achieved in 16 patients with 17 TDCCFs immediately after the stent placement, with transient endoleaks in 10 TDCCFs. Redilation was performed in 6 TDCCFs, and additional stents were implanted in the other 4 TDCCFs for endoleak exclusion. The initial angiographic results showed complete exclusion of fistulas with preservation of the internal carotid artery in 24 patients with 26 TDCCFs. One patient in whom complete occlusion initially was achieved subsequently experienced a delayed endoleak, which required placement of an additional stent. The angiographic follow-up results (mean, 30.3 months) demonstrated complete exclusion in all 27 TDCCFs, with patency of internal carotid artery in 23 patients. The clinical follow-up demonstrated a full recovery in 23 patients and improvement in 2 patients.

CONCLUSION: The use of Willis covered stents was confirmed to be effective, safe, and a curative approach for endovascular treatment of complex TDCCFs and internal carotid artery reconstruction.

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