Background Extracranial carotid aneurysms in children are extremely rare but carry a high mortality and morbidity. For pediatric patients, they are often complications of pharyngeal infections and surgical trauma but can also arise from congenital and inflammatory diseases. They have a wide range of presentation from an asymptomatic mass to a rapidly fatal hemorrhage. Case A 10-year-old boy presented to the emergency department with complaints of a neck mass and residual cough from a recent upper respiratory infection. Ultrasound revealed a carotid aneurysm that was further characterized by magnetic resonance angiography as a 3-cm aneurysm of the internal carotid artery. The patient was taken for surgery where he underwent resection and placement of an interposition graft. The procedure was well tolerated and the boy recovered fully. Discussion Carotid aneurysms in children can present with 1 or more of the following: a pulsatile neck mass, hematemesis, epistaxis, neurologic symptoms, and symptoms of airway compression. Although ultrasound is the preferred initial test, the choice of additional imaging for further characterization will depend most on the patient age, hemodynamic stability, airway status, and availability of pediatric anesthesia. Hemodynamic and neurologic status should be monitored closely, and clinicians must also be prepared for a potentially complicated airway. Surgery is indicated for children owing to high risk of neurologic complications. Conclusions Although these lesions are rare, it is crucial that physicians recognize when there is a need for further evaluation so that these children have the most favorable outcomes possible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Emergency Medicine