Objective: Transcatheter assessment of changes in draining vein (DV) flow velocity has been proposed recently as a potentially useful procedure for hemodynamic monitoring of the progression of embolotherapy in cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). We compared and contrasted changes in hemodynamic parameters of arterial feeders (AFs) and DVs during experimental AVM embolotherapy.
Methods: Carotid-jugular fistula-type AVM models were surgically created in eight swine. Pre- and postembolization transcatheter mean AF and DV pressures, DV-time average spectral peak velocity, and AF and DV pulsatility indices were assessed. An expression, the peak systolic velocity minus end-diastolic velocity (Vs - Ved), was also used in evaluating the transvenous Doppler spectra. Pre- and postembolization hemodynamic parameters were compared statistically.
Results: Pre-embolization DV flow was pulsatile (Vs - Ved, 12 +/- 4.8 cm/s), with a mean DV velocity of 39.3 +/- 11.4 cm per second. Postembolization, this changed to a less/nonpulsatile pattern (Vs - Ved, 5.4 +/- 2.7 cm/s; P = 0.0035) with a lower mean DV-average spectral peak velocity of 7.0 +/- 3.1 cm per second (P = 0.0001). The mean DV pressure was also reduced from 52.0 +/- 8.2 to 45.5 +/- 8.7 mm Hg (P = 0.0023). The mean AF pressure increased from a mean of 79.5 +/- 15.5 to 96.8 +/- 16.2 mm Hg (P = 0.0004). The DV pulsatility index values also increased from a mean of 0.3 +/- 0.2 to 1.1 +/- 0.5 (P = 0.0003). Periembolization objective hemodynamic changes were detected in the DVs earlier than were the visually subjective angiographic changes observed within the nidus.
Conclusion: This preliminary study indicates that transvenous assessment of average spectral peak velocity and wave pattern (Vs - Ved) may be useful in the hemodynamic evaluation of AVM shunting. The convergence of these two parameters to a range less than 10 cm per second after nidus embolization may afford a theoretical advantage over AF pressure measurements when used for objective and quantitative monitoring of endovascular embolotherapy.