Abstract

BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE: Cases of post carotid endarterectomy (CEA) Horner's syndrome have been reported, with symptoms attributed to manipulation of the sympathetic plexus situated along the carotid artery; however, these patients presented with the typical constricted pupil. We report the first 3 cases to our knowledge of mydriasis following CEA.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION: We present 3 cases of CEA followed by immediate postoperative development of ipsilateral mydriasis. The patients were otherwise at their neurologic baseline and the mydriasis resolved over the ensuing few days.

CONCLUSION: We suggest that these cases are secondary to an ischemic phenomenon, specifically to parasympathetic structures such as the ciliary ganglion and/or oculomotor nerve, resulting in autonomic dysfunction manifested by pupillary dilation. A similar finding of mydriasis occurring subsequent to other carotid pathology has been reported, with ischemia to parasympathetic structures also proposed as the underlying etiology. Although pupillary dilation often represents a worrisome neurosurgical sign indicating herniation, it should be recognized that after CEA this finding may be a transient, benign occurrence.

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