Covered stent treatment of carotid blow-out syndrome in pati
Objective : Carotid blow-out syndrome (CBS) is a life-threatening complication of head and neck cancer (HNC). One of the various methods used for emergency management of CBS is covered stent placement (CSP). Our initial experience in CSP is evaluated and compared with reports in the literature.

Methods : This study analysed 17 patients with HNC who had received CSP for CBS at Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital from May 2005 to December 2013. The medical records and images for these patients were retrospectively reviewed to evaluate the causes of CBS, treatment success rates and complications.

Results : The initial angiography success rate was 100%. Procedural or periprocedural complications were noted in two (12%) cases, both suffering from cerebral vascular accident (CVA). Short-term complications were noted in eight (47%) cases, including four rebleeding cases and four CVA cases. Medium- to long-term complications were noted in nine cases, which included two asymptomatic in-stent thrombosis cases, one symptomatic CVA case, two abscess formation cases and four rebleeding cases. Overall, eight (47%) cases of rebleeding occurred during follow-up. Three of the eight cases were fatal, accounting for 27% of the all-cause mortality.

Conclusion : Although CSP is considered effective for achieving haemostasis in patients with HNC with CBS, the medium- to long-term outcomes are unfavourable owing to high risks of rebleeding, CVA and other complications. Therefore, CSP should be considered a temporary life-saving technique rather than a definitive treatment.

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