Carotid blowout syndrome (CBS) is a known devastating complication of head and neck surgery. The risk of developing CBS increases in the setting of radiation therapy, wound breakdown, or tumor recurrence. Traditionally, the treatment of choice for CBS is surgical ligation of the bleeding artery; however, recently, endovascular occlusion has become a more common option. If a pseudoaneurysm is present, treatment consists of trapping with endovascular coils or occlusion with a liquid embolic agent. Delayed migration of embolization coils into the airway causing acute respiratory distress is a rare occurrence. This report presents a case of a 57-year-old woman who presented to her otolaryngologist after experiencing an episode of acute respiratory distress which resolved when she expectorated embolization coil material from her tracheostomy tube. Three months prior to the episode she underwent coil embolization of an external carotid artery pseudoaneurysm for life-threatening hemorrhage.
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Republished with permission from BMJ Case Reports Published 29 August 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-013178
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.