Transvenous retrograde AVM embolization: Indications, techniques, complications and outcomes

Interv Neuroradiol. 2017 Oct;23(5):504-509. doi: 10.1177/1591019917716817. Epub 2017 Jul 4.


Objective Transvenous retrograde arteriovenous malformation (AVM) embolization (TRAE) has been proposed. The present study was to review the techniques, their conjunctions and effectiveness. Methods Eligible related articles were identified by searching the PubMed and Web of Science databases using "transvenous" and "arteriovenous malformation." Results A total of 16 eligible studies, with 60 cases of AVM treated with TRAE, were analyzed. Prior to TRAE procedure, transarterial Onyx 18 was performed in 23 (38.3%), cyanoacrylate in three (5%) and coiling in two (3.3%), neurosurgery in one (1.7%) and radiosurgery in three (5%). These prior treatments were used to reduce the size of the nidus to <3 cm and TRAE was performed. One anterior choroidal artery aneurysm was coiled before TRAE. Systemic hypotension (blood pressure<100 mmHg) occurred in six (10%) patients and local hypotension (proximal arterial temporary balloon protection) in five (8.3%) patients. Complete obliteration was achieved in 56 (93.3%) AVMs, four (6.7%) with residual, of which one was supplemented with radiosurgery. During mean one-year follow-up (1 month to 3.2 years), there were five cases (8.3%) of permanent disability and one (1.7%) mortality resulting from initial hemorrhage. Fifty-four (90%) patients were independent (mRS ≤ 2) at follow-up. Ruptured AVMs and Spetzler-Martin I-III were associated with a high cure rate. Conclusion According to previous reports, selected AVMs could undergo TRAE. TRAE is safe and curative with Onyx after the nidus size is reduced sufficiently by transarterial embolization, neurosurgery or radiosurgery, with or without the aid of proximal arterial temporary balloon protection.

Keywords: Transvenous; arteriovenous malformation; embolization.

MeSH terms

  • Cyanoacrylates / therapeutic use
  • Drug Combinations
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Polyvinyls / therapeutic use
  • Radiosurgery
  • Tantalum / therapeutic use


  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Drug Combinations
  • Onyx 18
  • Polyvinyls
  • Tantalum