Abstract

Direct carotid-cavernous fistulas are a rare complication of craniofacial trauma that often presents with proptosis, chemosis, and other visual symptoms. Disruption of blood flow from a carotid-cavernous fistula can cause cortical and cranial nerve ischemia which requires emergent intervention. Upon clinical suspicion of a carotid-cavernous fistula, patients should undergo computed tomography angiography (CTA) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) if no other etiology is suspected. We present a case of a middle-aged patient with a gunshot wound in the posterior pharynx that resulted in a direct carotid-cavernous fistula of the left internal carotid artery.

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