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Rivista di Angiologia
Official Journal of the , the International Union of Phlebology and the
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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International Angiology 2000 September;19(3):237-241
Cranial nerve dysfunction following carotid endarterectomy
Maroulis J., Karkanevatos A. *, Papakostas K., Gilling-Smith G. L., McCormick M. S., Harris P. L.
From the Departments of Vascular Surgery and * Otolaryngology Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, UK
Background. Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is the most common surgical procedure performed for the treatment of symptomatic carotid stenosis greater than 70%. Among the recognised complications, such as stroke and myocardial infarction, is injury to cranial nerves.
Methods. We report the incidence and follow-up of cranial nerve injury in 269 patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy between January 1994 and December 1997 at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Results. Fifteen cranial nerve injuries were documented (5.6%). Seven patients (2.6%) had unilateral vocal cord paralysis, nine (3.3%) hypoglossal palsy, two (0.7%) glossopharyngeal nerve injury and one (0.4%) facial nerve palsy (marginal mandibular nerve). All patients showed improvement within a few weeks and none had residual disability at the last follow-up (two weeks to 14 months).
Conclusions. Patients manifesting symptoms of cranial nerve dysfunction should undergo a thorough otolaryngological evaluation and long-term follow-up. Most cranial nerve injuries are transient and result from trauma during dissection, retraction or carotid clamping. Knowledge of cranial nerve anatomy is essential if the surgeon is to avoid such injuries.