This report deals with a patient of 86 who developed a carotid-cavernous fistula. Artificial embolization alone was considered the safest treatment for this patient and proved to be adequate. Post-operative preservation of the patency of the internal carotid artery was demonstrated by angiography. We believe this method is particularly appropriate for carotid-cavernous fistulas if it is demonstrated by angiography that the major blood flow of the carotid artery pours into the fistula. A soft-iron clip attached to the muscle can be used for external and forceful guidance of the embolus into the fistula with the help of an electromagnet, hence the patency of the internal carotid artery can be preserved. The embolus should be introduced through the external carotid artery. This is the only case known to us in which patency of the internal carotid artery was post-operatively maintained. We have reviewed 545 reported cases of surgically treated carotid-cavernous fistulas and analysed the results from simple cervical carotid ligation to the more sophisticated methods of artificial embolizations. The results obtained by artificial embolization have been consistently good, while the other techniques have failed in large percentages. Artificial embolization should be used as the primary treatment for carotid-cavernous fistula, since ligation of the internal carotid artery precludes its embolization at a later date.
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