Sixth Nerve Palsy Secondary to Traumatic Carotid-Jugular Fistula

Kevin M. Halenda, Scott Y. Rahimi, Jordan J. Patton, Dilip A. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carotid-jugular fistulae are rare complications of penetrating head and neck trauma. We report an unusual case of an external carotid-internal jugular fistula presenting with diplopia due to sixth nerve paresis. A 38-year-old Caucasian female presented in the setting of acute neurovascular neck trauma and weeks later developed symptomatic diplopia. An acquired carotid-internal jugular fistula affecting the abducens nerve secondarily via compression from a distended inferior petrosal sinus was diagnosed and treated using endovascular coil embolisation, resolving the patient’s symptoms. A posteriorly draining external carotid artery-internal jugular venous fistula can be an uncommon cause of a compressive sixth cranial nerve palsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Carotid-jugular fistula
  • diplopia
  • sixth nerve palsy
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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