Carotid-Cavernous Fistula

Posted by e-Medical PPT Sunday, February 27, 2011
A carotid-cavernous fistula results from an abnormal communication between the arterial and venous systems within the cavernous sinus in the skull. It is a type of arteriovenous fistula. As arterial blood under high pressure enters the cavernous sinus, the normal venous return to the cavernous sinus is impeded and this causes engorgement of the draining veins, manifesting most dramatically as a sudden engorgement and redness of the eye of the same side.
While carotid-cavernous fistula is not a lethal disease, its symptoms can be disabling and include bruit (a humming sound within the skull due to high blood flow through the arteriovenous fistula), progressive visual loss, and pulsatile proptosis or progressive bulging of the eye due to dilatation of the veins draining the eye. Pain is the symptoms that patients often find the most difficult to tolerate.This is based on MRI scan with MRA/MRV, CT angiogram and a cerebral DSA.
Patients usually present with sudden or insidious onset of redness in one eye, associated with progressive proptosis or bulging.

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