Objective and importance: For neonates requiring cerebral endovascular procedures, an alternative route of arterial access, the umbilical artery, is described. Transfemoral catheterization, with its attendant risks, can thus be avoided.
Clinical presentation: Six neonates with severe cardiac failure secondary to aneurysmal malformations of the vein of Galen underwent transarterial embolization in an effort to reduce flow through the intracranial arteriovenous malformations and therefore improve control of the high output cardiac failure.
Technique: The transumbilical route was used in each case, with successful devascularization of some of the malformations in all patients. The femoral arteries were preserved for future staged embolizations. No complications related to the umbilical artery catheterization were encountered.
Conclusion: Femoral artery cannulation in neonates is technically challenging and may result in stenosis or thrombosis of the vessel. The umbilical artery provides an alternative route of vascular access for cerebral artery catheterization and embolization in these patients, preserving the femoral arteries for future interventions.