Penetrating carotid artery injuries (PCAI) in civil time are infrequent, yet they present significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenges and can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Proper resuscitation and urgent exploration is necessary for actively bleeding patients.
The aim of this paper is to present our humble experience in management of such injuries with literature review.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
Herein, we present 5 cases of penetrating carotid artery injuries managed in Sulaimania and Basrah from January 1996 to 30th of November 2009.
All patients were young males. Three injuries were located in zone III and 2 in zone II. Four patients presented hours to days after the injury while the fifth presented after few months. Angiography was done in 2 patients with a false aneurysm of internal carotid artery (ICA). All 3 patients with ICA injuries were managed by ligation due to profuse bleeding and poor access. The 2 patients with common carotid artery (CCA) injuries in zone II had an end to end repair. All 5 patients have survived without significant neurological deficits.
Penetrating carotid artery injuries in zone II usually do not require preoperative angiography unlike those in zone I and III. Repair is always desired. It is a straightforward operation for zone II injuries but really challenging for zone III due to poor access. Certain zone III injuries may be just observed or treated by endovascular stenting when facilities permit. Ligation of ICA carries a high risk of stroke; however, young people with well developed circle of Willis may tolerate it well