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The myth of the Brooks method of embolization: a brief history of the endovascular treatment of carotid–cavernous sinus fistula
  1. J J Vitek1,
  2. M J Smith2
  1. 1Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute of New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurological Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Jiri J Vitek, Lenox Hill Hospital, 130 East 77th Street, New York, NY 10075, USA; jjvitek{at}


Objective To correct the historical notion that permeates throughout the neurointerventional surgical literature that Dr Barney Brooks was the founder of the specialty.

Material and methods Both articles written by Dr B Brooks and all pertinent literature dealing with neurointerventional treatment of the carotid–cavernous sinus fistula (CCSF) were reviewed.

Results The notion that Dr B Brooks was the first to use the embolization method to treat the CCSF was based on misinterpretation of his papers published in 1930 and on ‘second generation’ references used by subsequent authors.

Conclusion Dr B Brooks never described embolization of the CCSF by a ‘free’ piece of muscle introduced into the internal carotid artery (ICA).

  • Carotid–cavernous sinus fistula
  • therapeutic embolization
  • endovascular surgery
  • artery
  • brain
  • trauma
  • intervention
  • history

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.