Endovascular treatment of intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulae using Onyx: a case series

Neurosurgery. 2009 Dec;65(6 Suppl):132-9; discussion 139-40. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000345949.41138.01.


Objective: An endovascular approach is often the first-line treatment of dural arteriovenous fistulae (DAVFs). Information on the use of Onyx (ev3 Neurovascular, Irvine, CA) for treating DAVFs, however, is limited. Therefore, we present our early experience, technical considerations, and complications associated with the use of Onyx for DAVF embolization.

Methods: Twenty-eight patients with 29 DAVFs treated with Onyx embolization were included in this analysis. Hospital records, operative reports, and angiograms were reviewed and analyzed.

Results: Forty Onyx procedures, including 39 transarterial and 1 transvenous approaches, were performed. Fifty-one external carotid artery branches, 8 posterior meningeal artery branches, and 3 internal carotid artery branches were used for Onyx embolization. Branches of the middle meningeal artery were embolized 32 times, and the occipital artery was embolized 15 times. Twenty-one fistulae (72%) were cured angiographically with endovascular therapy. Transarterial embolization via the middle meningeal artery cured 12 DAVFs (41%). Four complications (9.7%) were recorded, including 3 transient (7.3%) and 1 permanent neurological deficits (2.4%). Follow-up imaging, which was available for 8 fistulae with angiographic cures, showed no evidence of recurrence.

Conclusion: Transarterial Onyx embolization of external carotid artery branches, particularly the middle meningeal artery, offers a high likelihood of cure. This technique provides a safe and effective method of embolization with few side effects and complications. However, long-term follow-up is needed to establish its efficacy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carotid Artery, External / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, External / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / therapy*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / administration & dosage*
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / adverse effects
  • Dura Mater / blood supply*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Meningeal Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Meningeal Arteries / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyvinyls / administration & dosage*
  • Polyvinyls / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Onyx copolymer
  • Polyvinyls
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide