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Original research
Combined use of Onyx and coils for transarterial balloon-assisted embolization of traumatic carotid-cavernous fistulas: a report of 16 cases with 17 fistulas


Objective The combination of coils and Onyx for the treatment of carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) is an interesting new development. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate our preliminary experience with the combined use of coils and Onyx for the treatment of traumatic CCFs.

Methods Between April 2009 and July 2014, 16 patients with 17 traumatic CCFs were embolized with the so-called ‘armored concrete’ treatment modality using coils, Onyx-18, and a non-detachable balloon via the transarterial approach. The outcomes were assessed both clinically and radiologically. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) follow-up was performed 3 or 6 months after endovascular treatment while clinical follow-up was continued until December 2014.

Results Obliteration of the CCFs was obtained with patency of the parent artery in all 16 cases. Follow-up DSA demonstrated stable occlusion of all the fistulas. Symptoms related to the CCFs were either resolved immediately or gradually over 2 months. No worsening of the cranial neuropathies was observed during the follow-up period which averaged 32.6 months.

Conclusions The ‘armored concrete’ treatment modality using coils, Onyx, and a non-detachable balloon promises to be a safe, economical, and effective alternative in the management of traumatic CCFs.

  • Balloon
  • Coil
  • Fistula
  • Embolic
  • Intervention

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