, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 491–494 | Cite as

Treatment of a direct carotid-cavernous fistula in a patient with type IV Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: a novel approach

  • J. K. Hollands
  • T. Santarius
  • P. J. Kirkpatrick
  • J. N. Higgins
Interventional Neuroradiology


We report a case of a 34-year-old female with type IV Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosed with a carotid cavernous fistula presenting with progressive proptosis. Endovascular embolization using balloons or coils carries a high risk of complications in this group of patients, owing to the extreme fragility of the blood vessels. Initial treatment was conservative until an intracerebral haemorrhage occurred. To avoid transfemoral angiography, the ipsilateral carotid arteries and the internal jugular vein were surgically exposed for insertion of two endovascular sheaths. The patient was transferred from theatre to the angiography suite and the sheaths were used for embolization access. The fistula was closed, with preservation of the carotid artery, using Guglielmi detachable coils deployed in the cavernous sinus from the arterial and venous sides. Rapid resolution of symptoms and signs followed, which was sustained at 6-month follow-up. This technique offers alternative access for endovascular treatment, which may reduce the high incidence of mortality associated with catheter angiography in this condition.


Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Carotid-cavernous fistula 


Conflict of interest statement

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. K. Hollands
    • 1
  • T. Santarius
    • 1
  • P. J. Kirkpatrick
    • 1
  • J. N. Higgins
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryAddenbrooke’s HospitalCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of NeuroradiologyAddenbrooke’s HospitalCambridgeUK

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