Therapeutic alternatives for vein of Galen vascular malformations

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  • 1 Department of Radiology and Division of Neurosurgery, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California; Fundación para Lucha contra Enfermedades des Neurológicas de la Infancia, Instituto de Investigaciones Neurológicas, Raúl Carrea, Bueños Aires, Argentina; and Department of Radiology, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
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✓ From September, 1986, to March, 1990, the authors treated 28 children harboring a vein of Galen vascular malformation. Eleven (39.3%) of the patients were neonates, 13 (46.4%) were 1 to 2 years old, and four (14.3%) were more than 2 years old.

Fifteen patients (53.6%) presented with severe congestive heart failure, six (21.4%) had seizures, four (14.3%) had hydrocephalus, and three (10.7%) presented with intraventricular hemorrhage. Based on the Yaşargil classification of malformations, 10 lesions (35.7%) were Type I, seven (25%) were Type II, eight (28.6%) were Type III, and three (10.7%) were Type IV. In 11 patients (39.3%), a combined transfemoral, transarterial, and transvenous embolization of the vein of Galen malformation was performed. A pure transtorcular approach was utilized in eight patients (28.6%), and postembolization surgical clipping of arterial feeders was performed in two cases with intractable congestive heart failure.

Complete anatomical occlusion of the galenic malformation was achieved in 13 patients (46.4%). An immediate postembolization improvement in the patient's clinical status was obtained in 23 (82.1%) of 28 patients and a good long-term clinical outcome was seen in 17 patients (60.7%). Five deaths (17.9%) occurred in this series of 28 patients; three (10.7%) were related to a transtorcular embolization and two (7.1%) to the unchanged natural history of the disease.

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