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A case of a coexisting aberrant internal carotid artery and persistent stapedial artery: The role of MR angiography in the diagnosis

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May 1, 2011
by Hatice Gul Hatipoglu, MD, Mehmet Ali Cetin, MD, Enis Yuksel, MD, and Huseyin Dere, MD


We describe the case of a 37-year-old woman who presented with a complaint of recurrent headaches since childhood. Clinical examination revealed the presence of a reddish-bluish mass in the inferior half of the tympanic membrane in her right ear. Source and three-dimensional time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) detected a protruded right internal carotid artery (ICA) in the hypotympanum. The vertical segment of the ICA was absent, and the artery was narrowed and lateralized and had a “reverse 7” shape. Meanwhile, a persistent stapedial artery (PSA) was seen originating in the petrous portion of the ICA to form a middle meningeal artery. The A1 segment of the right anterior cerebral artery was hypoplastic. Based on these findings and on follow-up findings on computed tomography, the patient was diagnosed with a concomitant aberrant ICA and PSA. No intervention was undertaken. We review the management of this rare finding, and we discuss the role of MRA in its diagnosis.

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