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Case report: Inadvertent carotid artery injury during myringotomy as a result of carotid artery dehiscence

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July 22, 2013
by Christopher Schutt, MD; Sharmila Dissanaike, MD; John Marchbanks, MD


We report the case of a 3-year-old girl whose internal carotid artery was pierced during a myringotomy. Postoperative computed tomography demonstrated that the complication was caused by a dehiscent carotid canal wall; contralateral dehiscence was also present. The patient had previously received two sets of middle ear ventilation tubes with no complications. This article addresses the epidemiology and anatomy of carotid dehiscence, and discusses methods to potentially prevent this complication, including screening and imaging modalities.

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