Therapeutic embolization of arteriovenous malformations: the case for and against

Clin Neurosurg. 2000;46:295-318.


The field of endovascular therapy has demonstrated stunning technical achievements in AVM embolization. Embolization has the potential to enhance the safety and efficacy of AVM treatment when applied in carefully considered cases. The utility of embolization, at the present time, is limited by the fact that the procedure may be associated with disabling or fatal complications, and because complete or near-complete AVM nidus occlusion can be achieved only in a minority of cases. Because of these factors, embolization should not be considered a "standard-of-care" for the management of all cerebral AVMs, and careful case selection for embolization, with well-defined treatment goals in mind, is essential. Finally, not all AVMs that can be embolized should be embolized.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy*
  • Intraoperative Complications / therapy
  • Microsurgery
  • Radiosurgery