Embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations with the diluted Onyx technique: initial experience

  • Haowen Xu
  • Li Wang
  • Sheng Guan
  • Dongdong Li
  • Tao QuanEmail author
Interventional Neuroradiology



Insufficient nidus occlusion is a matter of great concern to routine Onyx embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). This paper described an efficient method which using the diluted Onyx embolization technique to treat brain AVM.


The diluted Onyx technique was performed in a series of 15 patients with brain AVMs (10 males, 5 females; age range, 11–44 years). It consists of initial embolization with routine Onyx-18, followed by the diluted Onyx (1.5 mL of Onyx-18 diluted with 0.5 mL of DMSO) through the same microcatheter. The technical skills and angiographic and clinical outcomes were analyzed.


A total of 15 embolization sessions were performed with diluted Onyx via 16 arterial feeders in these 15 patients. Each patient underwent one attempt of diluted Onyx through a single feeder except one patient. In this patient, the AVM was simultaneously embolized with diluted Onyx through double microcatheters which were placed in two feeders. When the length of reflux reached to 2 cm (or close to the determined length) and the embolic material could not move distally any more despite some rounds of “injection-reflux-waiting,” regular Onyx 18 was changed to diluted Onyx. Antegrade flow of embolic material into the nidus was observed in 12 cases but failed in 3. An average of 90% (range 55–100%) estimated size reduction was achieved, and 6 AVMs were completely obliterated. No functionally relevant complications occurred.


The diluted Onyx technique could be a useful adjunct to routine Onyx embolization which may offer more embolic material penetrating into the nidus of AVM, but additional work is needed to validate this technique.


Arteriovenous malformation Embolization Onyx 



Arteriovenous malformations


Dimethyl sulfoxide


Ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer


Pressure cooker technique





No funding was received for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Interventional NeuroradiologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhou CityChina
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyChildren Hospital of Zhengzhou CityZhengzhouChina

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