Embolisation of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations: no consistent effect on pulmonary artery pressure

Eur Respir J. 2008 Jul;32(1):162-9. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00126207. Epub 2008 Apr 2.


Increasing evidence supports the use of embolisation to treat pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Most pulmonary AVM patients have hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), a condition that may be associated with pulmonary hypertension. The current authors tested whether pulmonary AVM embolisation increases pulmonary artery pressure (P(pa)) in patients without baseline severe pulmonary hypertension. P(pa) was measured at the time of pulmonary AVM embolisation in 143 individuals, 131 (92%) of whom had underlying HHT. Angiography/embolisation was not performed in four individuals with severe pulmonary hypertension, whose systemic arterial oxygen saturation exceeded levels usually associated with dyspnoea in pulmonary AVM patients. In 143 patients undergoing pulmonary AVM embolisation, P(pa) was significantly correlated with age, with the most significant increase occurring in the upper quartile (aged >58 yrs). In 43 patients with repeated measurements, there was no significant increase in P(pa) as a result of embolisation. In half, embolisation led to a fall in P(pa). The maximum rise in mean P(pa) was 8 mmHg: balloon test occlusion was performed in one of these individuals, and did not predict the subsequent rise in P(pa) following definitive embolisation of the pulmonary AVMs. In the present series of patients, which excluded those with severe pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary artery pressure was not increased significantly by pulmonary arteriovenous malformation embolisation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Artery / abnormalities*
  • Pulmonary Veins / abnormalities*
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / complications*