Neurosurg Focus 2018 07;45(1):E13
1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Endovascular embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is conventionally performed from a transarterial approach. Transarterial AVM embolization can be a standalone treatment or, more commonly, used as a neoadjuvant therapy prior to microsurgery or stereotactic radiosurgery. In contrast to the transarterial approach, curative embolization of AVMs may be more readily achieved from a transvenous approach. Transvenous embolization is considered a salvage therapy in contemporary AVM management. Proposed indications for this approach include a small (diameter < 3 cm) and compact AVM nidus, deep AVM location, hemorrhagic presentation, single draining vein, lack of an accessible arterial pedicle, exclusive arterial supply by perforators, and en passage feeding arteries. Available studies of transvenous AVM embolization in the literature have reported high complete obliteration rates, with reasonably low complication rates. However, evaluating the efficacy and safety of this approach is challenging due to the limited number of published cases. In this review the authors describe the technical considerations, indications, and outcomes of transvenous AVM embolization.