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Case Reports in Otolaryngology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 743021, 3 pages
Case Report

A Potentially Catastrophic Anatomical Variation: Aberrant Internal Carotid Artery in the Middle Ear Cavity

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Ataturk Training and Research Hospital, Bilkent, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Yıldırım Beyazıt University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey
3Department of Radiology, Ataturk Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Received 2 February 2013; Accepted 28 February 2013

Academic Editors: D. K. Chhetri and R. Mora

Copyright © 2013 Togay Muderris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aberrant internal carotid artery (ICA) is a rare but a very important vascular anomaly of temporal bone. Misdiagnosis of the anomaly may lead to massive hemorrhage and severe complications during otologic procedures. It is essential to keep this anomaly in mind for any otologic surgeon to prevent catastrophic complications. We present a case of aberrant ICA appeared as a nonpulsatile middle ear mass. The patient had a complaint of hearing loss, and the otoscopic examination of the patient revealed a tympanic membrane perforation and a blue-reddish retrotympanic mass. Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) is a useful tool that may provide excellent visualization of temporal bone for the diagnosis of aberrant ICA. Otolaryngologists should be aware of the possibility of a vascular anomaly of temporal bone when a patient presents with a blue-reddish mass in the middle ear.