Internal carotid artery injury during endonasal sinus surgery: our experience and review of the literature
Iatrogenic internal carotid artery injury is a catastrophic but uncommon complication of endonasal sinus surgery. We present our experience in managing this emergency situation. A 52-year-old man underwent revision endoscopic repair of recurrent cerebrospinal fluid leak that was complicated with profuse haemorrhage during removal of the anterior wall of sphenoid sinus using a Hajek sphenoid punch forceps.
Immediate packing of the sphenoid sinus controlled the haemorrhage. Urgent angiography revealed injury at the paraclival segment of the left internal carotid artery. An endovascular stent was initially placed but thrombosed; it was subsequently converted to coil embolisation.
The patient had watershed cerebral infarct with hemiparesis post procedure but made full recovery within 6 weeks. Immediate nasal packing followed by urgent angiography and endovascular stent placement is the least invasive definitive treatment. If stenting is unsuccessful, endovascular balloon occlusion or coil embolisation is the next preferred treatment, if there is adequate cross-cerebral circulation. The success of treatment relies on its immediate management by a multidisciplinary team.