Intracavernous carotid artery aneurysms: The possible importance of angiographic dural waisting. A case report

Michael Horowitz, Frank Fichtel, Duke Samson, Phillip Purdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Cavernous carotid aneurysms are generally benign entities. Certain indications exist for their treatment, however, including transient ischemic events, subarachnoid hemorrhage or risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage, epistaxis or its risk, ophthalmoplegia, pain, and progressive visual loss. We feel certain angiographic features may indicate a greater likelihood that cavernous carotid aneurysms extend into the subarachnoid space, thus making their rupture a life-threatening event. METHODS: A case report of an intracavernous carotid aneurysm, which at surgery extended into the subarachnoid space, is described. RESULTS: In this particular case, deformation of the aneurysm (waisting) as seen at angiography was in retrospect an indication that the cavernous carotid aneurysm extended into the subarachnoid space, either through the dural ring or through the eroded dural roof of the cavernous sinus. This finding was verified at surgery when the lesion was explored and trapped. CONCLUSION: Angiographic waisting of a cavernous carotid aneurysm may indicate that the aneurysm extends into the subarachnoid space. Such extension means that rupture would be a life- threatening event. While deformation of the aneurysm may be secondary to compression against the optic nerve or anterior clinoid process with an intact layer of dura overlying the aneurysm, the neurosurgeon confronted with such findings should analyze such lesions carefully and consider surgical exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-552
Number of pages4
JournalSurgical Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996


  • Aneurysm
  • angiography
  • cavernous carotid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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