✓ Forty-six patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) were selected for embolization with bucrylate. These patients were assigned to three different groups. Group I consisted of 22 patients with nonresectable AVM's who were selected for embolization with a Silastic calibrated-leak balloon. In 16 of these patients, embolization was achieved, with partial obliteration of the AVM in 14 and complete obliteration in two. Five patients had subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by the balloon bursting and concomitant dissection of the feeding vessel. Four of these patients recovered completely and one died of a brain-stem hemorrhage. A permanent field defect was noted in five cases, and two patients had a transient mild neurological deficit. Group II consisted of 13 patients treated by intraoperative embolization. Complete obliteration by embolization was obtained in four cases, and complete surgical resection after embolization in five. Partial embolization with no surgical resection was achieved in five cases. Three of these patients had a permanent mild neurological deficit and two had transient deficits. There was no mortality in this group. Group III consisted of 11 patients treated by embolization with bucrylate using a new latex calibrated-leak balloon. This balloon has a higher malleability, and takes on the exact configuration of the feeder, with no risk of dissection. This balloon also permits delivery of a faster and larger injection of bucrylate to the arterial feeders of the AVM. Two AVM's were completely obliterated, and embolization was only partially successful in the other cases. Neurological complications consisted of incomplete field defects in two cases, slight memory loss in one case, and transient clumsiness of the arm and face in one case. Two patients have a catheter permanently glued in the malformation, with no neurological complication. There was no mortality in this group.
Experience in 46 cases
Gérard Debrun, Fernando Vinuela, Allan Fox, and Charles G. Drake
Gérard Debrun, Pierre Lacour, Fernando Vinuela, Allan Fox, Charles G. Drake, and Jean P. Caron
✓ A series of 54 traumatic carotid-cavernous fistulas has been treated with detachable balloon catheters. The balloon was introduced through one of three different approaches: the endarterial route; the venous route through the jugular vein, the inferior petrosal sinus, and the cavernous sinus; or surgical exposure of the cavernous sinus; with occlusion of the fistula by a detachable balloon directly positioned in the cavernous sinus. Full follow-up review demonstrated that the carotid blood flow was preserved in 59% of cases. The most frequent complication was a transient oculomotor nerve palsy, which occurred in 20% of cases. In three cases where both the fistula and the carotid artery were originally occluded by the balloon, the superior portion of the fistula was later found not to be completely occluded, and these patients had intracranial ligation of the supraclinoid portion of the carotid artery. Three patients had hemiparesis, transient in two cases and permanent in the other. The results show that the fistula was totally occluded in 53 cases; in the one exception the patient became asymptomatic but had a minimal angiographic leak.
Fernando Viñuela, Jacques E. Dion, Gary Duckwiler, Neil A. Martin, Pedro Lylyk, Allan Fox, David Pelz, Charles G. Drake, John J. Girvin, and Gerard Debrun
✓ The authors describe their experience with 101 cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) treated by endovascular embolization followed by surgical removal. Fifty-three patients presented with intracranial hemorrhage and 35 had seizures. Based on the classification of Spetzler and Martin, two AVM's were Grade I, 13 were Grade II, 26 were Grade III, 43 were Grade IV, and 17 were Grade V, Fifty-six AVM's were in the right hemisphere, 28 were in the left hemisphere, 12 were in the corpus callosum, and five involved the cerebellum. In 50 cases, presurgical obliteration of 50% to 75% of the AVM nidus was achieved by embolization, and in 31 cases this percentage increased to between 75% and 90%. In 97 (96%) patients, complete surgical removal of the AVM was obtained.
Morbidity resulting from preoperative endovascular embolization was classified as mild in 3.9% of the cases, moderate in 6.9%, and severe in 1.98%. The death rate related to embolization was 0.9%. The immediate postsurgical morbidity was classified as mild in 5.9% of the cases, moderate in 10.8%, and severe in 5.9%. The overall long-term morbidity was mild in 5.9% of the cases, moderate in 6.9%, and severe in 1.98%. Two patients (1.98%) died due to intractable intraoperative hemorrhage and two (1.98%) as a result of postsurgical pulmonary complications.