Transvenous Embolization in Pediatric Plexiform Arteriovenous Malformations

Neurosurgery. 2016 Mar;78(3):458-65. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000001057.


Background: Transvenous embolization is a developing concept for curative therapy of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The feasibility of this endovascular method has not been reported in children.

Objective: To report our experience treating pediatric AVMs with the transvenous approach (TVA).

Methods: A cohort of 7 pediatric patients (younger than 18 years of age) who underwent the TVA for cerebral AVMs between January 2012 and January 2014. The TVA was used alone or in conjunction with other arterial approaches in definitive embolization sessions. Patient demographics, AVM characteristics, clinical outcomes, and angiographic results were independently assessed. Pial arteriovenous fistulae and vein of Galen malformations were excluded. Control angiograms were obtained at 6 months, and curative treatment was determined by the anatomic obliteration of the nidus.

Results: All patients had anatomic exclusion of the AVM. The mean size was 2 ± 0.6 cm, and hemorrhage was the most common presentation (100%, n = 7). Most AVMs were deeply placed (71%, n = 5), and a proximal approach to the nidus was achieved in all cases. Transvenous embolization alone was performed in 3 patients (43%), whereas combined arterial and venous embolization was required in 4 patients (57%). The mean follow-up period was 20.2 ± 10.5 months. There were no hemorrhagic or thromboembolic events, and venous infarction was not documented. No recurrence was documented.

Conclusion: This is the first report that demonstrates the feasibility of transvenous Onyx embolization of AVMs in the pediatric population. Such a technique may be considered in certain AVMs that meet anatomic criteria in which microsurgery and radiosurgery might not be indicated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery*
  • Male
  • Microsurgery