, Volume 7, Issue 7, pp 360-367

Vein of Galen malformation

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Since 1984, 43 patients with true vein of Galen ancurysmal malformations have been referred to us and managed according to our patient selection, technique, and follow-up guidelines. Thirty-four were embolized transarterially with bucrilate (isobutyl cyanoacrylate) or enbucrilate (N-butyl cyanoacrylate) embolization. No cutdown or hypotension during or after the embolization was used and no balloon catheter was employed. Forty-seven percent of the children had a completely occluded lesion which was confirmed when the child was at least 6 months of age at the follow-up angiographic examination; 52.9% were found to be completely normal or only to have mild cardiac failure that could be treated medically or moderate macrocephaly without neurological symptoms or mental retardation. In the embolized group 5.8% died as a result of the wrong treatment (1 case) or poor timing of embolization 3 days after ventricular shunting (1 case). The overall mortality (embolized and non-embolized groups) in the neonatal children was 27.7% with a total of 18.6% for all ages. Complete morphological exclusion of the arteriovenous malformation was accomplished in 41.9%; 74.4% of all children referred are now clinically normal or present moderate mental retardation which is diminishing. There was 3% neurological morbidity in the embolized group (only following the venous approach) in 78 sessions and more than 100 arteries embolized. These results compare favorably with surgical or other techniques of arterial embolization (balloon or particles), as well as transvenous (transtorcular or transfemora) embolization, where the morbidity and mortality are significantly higher and the late clinical evaluation is seldom satisfactory. We believe that presently there is no indication for surgery as a primary form of treatment if a properly trained interventional neuroradiological team is available.