Carotid Cavernous Sinus Fistulae

A carotid-cavernous sinus fistula or CCF is an abnormal connection between an artery in your neck and the network of veins at the back of your eye. Cavernous sinuses are small spaces that are located behind your eyes. They contain veins that transport blood from your face and brain, back to your head. If a small tear occurs in one of these arteries, a channel may form between them and it then shunts blood from artery to vein.


Some symptoms include a bulging or red eye, double or loss of vision, weak or missing eye movements, pains in the face, ringing in the ears, headaches and/or nosebleeds.


A CT or MRI scan are sufficient ways of diagnosing a CCF. If the results suggest you have CCF, you may need an Angiography. This test can solidly confirm the diagnosis.


In some cases, a CCF may get better without any treatment. But if worsening symptoms occur, surgery in the form of an endovascular embolization may be suggested. This surgery involves inserting a narrow tube into an artery in your groin. Metal coils are then used to seal the connection up in the fistula.