Balloon-assisted microcatheter navigation for AVM embolization: technical note

J Neurosurg. 2015 Nov;123(5):1120-4. doi: 10.3171/2014.10.JNS141359. Epub 2015 Apr 17.


Recurrent feeders may preclude a successful arterial catheterization of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). In this paper, the authors report their experience with the use of a compliant balloon to assist the microcatheter navigation in AVMs supplied by feeders with recurrent configuration. Eight patients with AVMs supplied by recurrent feeders had unsuccessful microcatheter navigation after multiple attempts to catheterize the pedicle. A compliant balloon was inflated in the parent artery immediately after the origin of the feeder. The microcatheter was then advanced over the wire while the balloon provided support for the navigation. Distal access close to the nidus was achieved in all cases. Anatomical cure was documented in 75% cases. There were no arterial perforations or thromboembolic events. The described technique is a straightforward method for providing support to microcatheter navigation in certain cases of cerebral AVMs supplied by recurrent arterial feeders. This simple yet effective maneuver may enhance outcomes of AVM embolization by eliminating the need for excessive attempts of catheterization.

Keywords: ACA = anterior cerebral artery; AVM = arteriovenous malformation; DSA = digital subtraction angiogram; ICA = internal carotid artery; MCA = middle cerebral artery; cerebral arteriovenous malformations; compliant balloon; interventional neurosurgery; microcatheter navigation; recurrent arterial feeders.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Balloon Occlusion
  • Catheterization / methods*
  • Cerebral Arteries / pathology
  • Child
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / pathology
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / pathology
  • Neuronavigation / instrumentation*
  • Neuronavigation / methods*
  • Rupture / pathology
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Seizures / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult