Vascular Pathology: Vascular Disease: Circle of Willis Showing the Tip of an Intra-abdominal Balloon Catheter Impacted in the Internal Carotid Artery

01 September 2011
Presented by Sebastian Lucas


Iatrogenic obstruction of the internal carotid artery


An autopsy specimen from a 76 year old female who presented with headaches and was found to have a berry aneurysm. During an attempt to occlude this via intra-arterial catheterization the balloon tip became dislodged, embolized upwards, impacting in the left internal carotid artery just before the circle of Willis. She died of cerebral infarction. In the pot there are two specimens. The aneurysm is shown as a 2 x 2cm sac almost completed occluded by recent thrombus. The circle of Willis is shown, the tip of an intra-arterial balloon catheter can be seen impacted in the upper part of the left internal carotid artery, occluding the vessel.


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