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October 28, 1983

Aberrant Carotid Artery Injured at Myringotomy

Author Affiliations

The Neurosurgical Group of Houston

JAMA. 1983;250(16):2110-2111. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340160014016

To the Editor.—  The report of carotid artery injury during the course of biopsy of a mass in the ear by Reilly and co-workers (1983;249:1473) was of much interest to me because I had not known before reading their article that the carotid artery could actually appear in the middle ear as a developmental variation. At the time that John Barrett and I reported our case in the New England Journal of Medicine,1 balloon catheters were unavailable and our patient, who was thought to have suffered carotid artery injury during the course of mastoidectomy and who survived a harrowing motor trip across Texas, during which he controlled his hemorrhage by digital compression of his own artery, finally yielded to carotid occlusion and hemostatic packing.Use of the balloon catheter is certainly to be preferred if hearing remains, and success should attend placement of the catheter at the site of