An ectopic carotid artery is rare. Its first symptoms may be neurological and could bring the patient to the neurologist during the initial evaluation. However, more often, the neurologist examines a patient in whom serious neurological deficit has occurred after transtympanic exploration of an undiagnosed vascular mass. Because diagnosis can be definitively established by angiography and the consequences of injury to an aberrant carotid artery are serious, operative exploration of vascular middle ear masses probably should be deferred until an ectopic carotid artery has been excluded by angiography.
Anderson JM, Stevens JC, Sundt TM, Stockard JJ, Pearson BW. Ectopic Internal Carotid Artery Seen Initially as Middle Ear Tumor. JAMA. 1983;249(16):2228–2230. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330400074030
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