Venous malformations: MR imaging features that predict skin burns after percutaneous alcohol embolization procedures

Skeletal Radiol. 2008 Oct;37(10):895-901. doi: 10.1007/s00256-008-0534-4. Epub 2008 Jun 25.


Objective: To examine the value of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for predicting the occurrence of skin burns in patients with venous malformations who undergo percutaneous alcohol embolization was the objective of the study.

Materials and methods: Pre-procedural MR imaging at 1.5 T from 40 patients with venous malformations who had undergone percutaneous alcohol embolization was retrospectively reviewed by two observers for these features: anatomic location, definition (well-defined or ill-defined), and the presence of skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscle, tendon, bone, joint, and deep venous system involvement. One observer recorded the length of skin involvement and volume of the malformation. Univariate and multivariate analysis tests were used to determine whether an association between the occurrence of skin burns and MR imaging features existed.

Results: The anatomic locations of the venous malformations were the lower extremity (20 out of 40), upper extremity (11 out of 40), trunk (four out of 40), head/neck (three out of 40) and pelvis (two out of 40). Of the 40 subjects, 15% (six out of 40) experienced skin burns. There was a significant association between the absence of muscle involvement (p = 0.0198) as well as the length of skin involvement (p = 0.027), with the occurrence of skin burns. Malformation size and all other features were not significantly associated with skin burns.

Conclusion: Skin burns in patients with venous malformations treated with alcohol embolization are associated with the length of skin involvement and with the absence of deeper tissue involvement, as depicted on MR imaging.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy
  • Burns, Chemical / diagnosis*
  • Burns, Chemical / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects*
  • Ethanol / adverse effects*
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veins / abnormalities*
  • Veins / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Ethanol