Object: The authors report their clinical experience with their new nonadhesive liquid embolic agent, an ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVAL)/ethanol mixture, to treat arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
Methods: Between June 1995 and April 2001, 57 patients with confirmed AVMs underwent embolization of their lesions with the EVAL/ethanol mixture. In 87 procedures consisting of one to three stages, the authors embolized 185 feeding arteries to occlude as much of the AVM as possible. Repeated injections under fluoroscopic control could be performed smoothly without encountering cementing of the catheter to the vessel wall. Among the 87 embolizations undertaken in 57 patients, seven procedures (8%) in six patients produced new postembolization symptoms. Resolution of these symptoms occurred within hours or days after four of the seven procedures; permanent neurological deficits remained after the other three procedures (3.4%). Of the 57 patients, three underwent postembolization radiosurgery, and 54 underwent radical treatment with microsurgical extirpation. Histopathological examination of the 54 specimens disclosed mild inflammation within the embolized lumen without inflammatory reactions in the media or adventitia. Follow-up angiograms obtained 3 years after radiosurgery was administered showed that in all three patients treated in this fashion the nidus had completely disappeared.
Conclusions: The EVAL/ethanol mixture is handled easily and appears to be an effective and safe agent for preoperative embolization of AVMs.