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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-37

Carotico-cavernous fistula - From the eye of an ophthalmologist

1 Oculoplasty and Paediatric Ophthalmology Services, Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Northern Railway Central Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sahil Agrawal
Oculoplastic and Ocular Oncology Services, Dr. R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjosr.tjosr_105_21

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Carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) are spontaneous or acquired abnormal connections between the cavernous sinus and the carotid arterial system. It can be a direct connection between the cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery and the cavernous sinus, or an indirect one between the cavernous sinus, and one or more meningeal branches of the internal carotid artery, external carotid artery, or both. Ophthalmologists are called to diagnose and manage the condition in cases that present with ocular features such as decreased vision, conjunctival chemosis, external ophthalmoplegia and proptosis. A high index of suspicion in a case without any history of trauma and collagen vascular disease is the key factor. Prompt diagnosis of intravascular malformations at initial presentation can prevent ophthalmological complications and vision loss. Conventional treatments include carotid ligation and embolization, with minimal significant morbidity or mortality. A team approach including neurosurgeons, emergency physicians and ophthalmologists is needed for the proper management of such patients. Ophthalmologists may be the primary attending physician; therefore, this review aims to help understand the diagnostic approach and possible modes of treatment with expected outcomes.

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