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  • Author or Editor: Gerard Debrun x
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Lawrence F. Borges, Roberto C. Heros and Gerard DeBrun

✓ Two patients with large vascular carotid body tumors underwent preoperative intravascular embolization of the major arterial feeders. The tumor vascularity was reduced markedly, and complete surgical extirpation was accomplished without difficulty. The literature on carotid body tumors is briefly reviewed. The role of preoperative embolization in the treatment of these difficult tumors is emphasized.

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Fernando V. Viñuela, Gerard M. Debrun, Allan J. Fox and Shinichi Kan

✓ The authors describe a system comprising a small latex balloon attached to a Teflon catheter. The balloon has a distal calibrated leak which is used for intravascular embolization with isobutyl-2-cyanoacrylate. The balloon is easily detached after embolization. The combination of manual control of the balloon-catheter system, plus the ability of the balloon to navigate intra-arterially with the blood flow, makes this system suitable for superselective angiography and embolization of lesions supplied by the external carotid artery (ECA). This system avoids intimal dissection and concomitant arterial vasospasm when trying to negotiate steep distal curves of the ECA branches. Experimental embolization of several branches of the ECA in the dog, and clinical examples of treatment of dural arteriovenous malformations in three patients are described.

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Karl W. Swann, Roberto C. Heros, Gerard Debrun and Curt Nelson

✓ A case of middle cerebral artery embolism by a detachable intra-arterial balloon is presented. The balloon migrated after being detached in an effort to occlude the internal carotid artery proximal to an unclippable giant paraclinoid aneurysm. Volume expansion, induced hypertension, anticoagulation therapy, rapid middle cerebral artery embolectomy, and good collateral circulation are factors that may have contributed to the patient's complete recovery from hemiplegia.

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Kevin M. McGrail, Roberto C. Heros, Gerard Debrun and Brian D. Beyerl

✓ A 44-year-old man experienced the sudden onset of horizontal diplopia and hemifacial numbness. Arteriography demonstrated a left intrapetrous carotid artery aneurysm. The patient was successfully treated with a left superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery bypass followed by balloon entrapment of the aneurysm.

There have been at least 40 previously reported cases of aneurysms of the petrous portion of the carotid artery. These aneurysms can be mycotic, traumatic, or developmental in origin. They can present with massive otorrhagia or epistaxis from acute rupture or with decreased hearing and paresis of the fifth through eighth cranial nerves and, less frequently, of the ninth, 10th, and 12th cranial nerves caused by direct pressure. They can also produce pulsatile tinnitus, and sometimes they are discovered as a retrotympanic vascular mass during otological examination. The treatment of choice is carotid artery occlusion. Trapping of the aneurysm by detachable balloons eliminates immediately the risk of hemorrhage, offers the possibility of test occlusion of the internal carotid artery with the patient awake prior to permanent occlusion, and should also reduce the risk of thromboembolism. It should be preceded by a bypass procedure when preliminary evaluation indicates that the patient will not tolerate internal carotid artery occlusion.

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Gérard Debrun, Fernando Vinuela, Allan Fox and Charles G. Drake

✓ 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.

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Gérard Debrun, Pierre Lacour, Jean-Pierre Caron, Michel Hurth, Jean Comoy and Yves Keravel

✓ Of the cerebral vascular lesions that can be treated with intravascular detachable balloon techniques, carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas and vertebro-vertebral fistulas have the best results. The great advantage of this technique is that the cerebral blood flow can usually be preserved after the occlusion of the fistula. The authors report 17 posttraumatic carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas successfully treated with preservation of the carotid blood flow in 12 cases. None of the patients died, and the morbidity was limited to one case of third nerve palsy. The treatment of aneurysms by this method is, however, much more difficult and dangerous. Of 14 cases treated, seven good results were obtained. Two patients died and two had a poor outcome. The embolization of certain brain angiomas with calibrated-leak balloons using bucrylate promises to be important in the future.

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Roberto C. Heros, Gerard M. Debrun, Robert G. Ojemann, Pierre L. Lasjaunias and Pierre J. Naessens

✓ A patient presenting with progressive paraparesis was found to have a spinal arteriovenous fistula at the T3–4 vertebral level. The lesion consisted of a direct communication of the anterior spinal artery with a very distended venous varix that drained mostly superiorly to the posterior fossa and simulated a posterior fossa arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on vertebral angiography. The patient was treated by surgical ligation of the fistula through an anterior transthoracic approach. He deteriorated abruptly on the 4th postoperative day, probably because of retrograde thrombosis of the enlarged anterior spinal artery. Over the next few months, he improved to the point of being able to walk with crutches. He has also regained sphincter control.

The different types of spinal AVM's are reviewed. Our case does not fit into any of these groups. A new category, Type IV, is proposed to designate direct arteriovenous fistulas involving the intrinsic arterial supply of the spinal cord.