Endovascular therapy of direct dural carotid cavernous fistulas – A therapy assessment study including long-term follow-up patient interviews

Purpose

Endovascular embolization nowadays is a well-established treatment option for direct carotid cavernous fistulas (dCCF, Barrow Type A). There are many publications on the complication and success rates of this method. However, little is known on the patients´ opinion on the treatment result after several years. We report on this issue also including the “pioneer patients” treated almost two decades ago.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patient (n = 25) with a more than 24 months follow-up interval after endovascular treatment of a dCCF at our institution from 01/1999 to 08/2018. We determined primary therapy success, complication rate, state of the fistula in the last imaging follow-up and quoted the patient’s subjective perception of the long-term treatment success using a standardized interview form.

Results

Occlusion rate in the last imaging follow up was 96% (24/25) with a complication rate of 8% (2/25). The response rate on our interview request was 96% (24/25) with a rate of considered feedback of 84% (21/25 patients). Duration of our observation interval for the patient reported outcome was 143 months / 11 years (median, range: 35–226 m / 2–18 y). Most of them (21/25, 84%) felt they benefited from the treatment.

Conclusions

Endovascular supply of dCCF is a highly effective treatment method leading to a sustainable therapy success with long-lasting stable subjective benefit even to our “pioneer patients” treated almost two decades ago.