Tumor devascularization by intratumoral ethanol injection during surgery

Technical note

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  • 1 Surgical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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✓ Preoperative reduction in tumor vascularity has been accomplished previously by selective catheterization of tumor vessels and delivery of occlusive materials. The results of percutaneous infusion of vertebral hemangiomas and other vascular lesions led the authors to speculate that rapid devascularization of tumors by direct injection of ethanol (ETOH) could be used to reduce bleeding and facilitate resection during surgery. Thus, the use of intratumoral injection of ETOH and its effects on tumor hemostasis and resectability were examined. Four patients received direct injection of ETOH into either a spinal epidural (two renal cell carcinomas and one rhabdomyosarcoma) or a large cerebellar neoplasm (hemangioblastoma). Intraoperative perfusion of the tumors with ETOH produced immediate blanching and devascularization and enhanced visualization and resection.

Incremental tumor devascularization is achieved by careful injection of small amounts of ETOH directly into the lesion, producing immediate and complete regional tumor devascularization. Use of this technique reduces intratumoral bleeding and enhances the ease and effectiveness of resection.

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