Introduction: We report here our experience in treating high-flow arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) of the brain and spine using balloon-assisted glue injection.
Methods: During a 3-year period (2003-2005) five patients with high-flow AVFs were treated at our hospital using transarterial balloon-assisted glue injection. There were two pial AVFs, one dural AVF, one vein of Galen malformation and one perimedullary AVF of the cervical spine. All patients were clinically followed-up for 12-48 months.
Results: Immediate angiographic obliteration was achieved in all patients. The fistulas remained closed in all patients, as ascertained by follow up-angiograms. No new neurological deficits related to the procedure were detected. Clinically, one patient with severe pre-treatment neurological deficit experienced excellent recovery.
Conclusion: Transarterial balloon-assisted glue embolization of high-flow AVFs is a feasible and efficient treatment. This technique affords more control in the glue injection and minimizes the risk of distal embolization.