Purpose: To compare the results of embolotherapy of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) with use of platinum versus stainless-steel coils.
Materials and methods: From a database of 78 consecutive patients with PAVMs treated by embolotherapy between May 1992 and September 2001, 54 patients with 306 PAVMs were selected for retrospective evaluation. Exclusion criteria were PAVMs with less than 12 months of follow-up computed tomography (CT) of the thorax (n = 15), embolotherapy with a mixture of embolic materials (n = 8), and repeat embolotherapy for previous treatment failures (n = 1). Successful treatment was defined as complete resolution of the aneurysm sac and draining vein on follow-up CT (all patients) and/or absence of contrast material flow through the PAVM on pulmonary angiography (n = 27).
Results: Of 267 PAVMs embolized with stainless-steel coils, 249 (93.3%) were successfully occluded (mean follow-up, 3.1 years). Of 39 PAVMs embolized with platinum coils, 35 (89.7%) were successfully occluded (mean follow-up, 2.1 years). There was no significant difference in success between the two groups (P =.5). The mean feeding artery size was significantly larger (P <.0001) in the platinum group (4.3 mm) than in the stainless-steel group (3.5 mm). Potentially serious complications included coil reflux (n = 3), PAVM perforation (n = 2), self-limited neurologic deficit (n = 2), and systemic embolization of a coil (n = 1) in the stainless-steel group, and PAVM perforation (n = 2) in the platinum group. There were no long-term sequelae.
Conclusions: Coil embolotherapy is highly efficacious, with no statistically significant difference between platinum and stainless-steel coils. The slightly higher proportion of sustained occlusion with stainless-steel coils may be partly explained by the larger mean feeding artery size in the platinum group. The study is limited by the small sample size of the platinum group.