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Case series
Interventional management of high-flow craniofacial vascular malformations: a database analysis and review of the literature
  1. Guilherme Dabus1,2,3,
  2. Italo Linfante1,2,3,
  3. James Benenati1,2,
  4. Chad A Perlyn3,4,
  5. Mario Martínez-Galdámez5
  1. 1Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, Miami, Florida, USA
  2. 2Baptist Neuroscience Center, Miami, Florida, USA
  3. 3Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA
  4. 4Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Miami, Florida, USA
  5. 5Interventional Neuroradiology Unit, Department of Radiology, Fundacion Jimenez-Diaz, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Guilherme Dabus, Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, 8900 N Kendall Drive, Miami, FL 33176, USA; gdabus{at}


Background High-flow craniofacial vascular malformations are uncommon, locally aggressive lesions that pose a therapeutic challenge.

Objective To report our experience with the treatment of high-flow craniofacial vascular malformations.

Methods After institutional review board approval was obtained, the neurointerventional databases of two institutions were retrospectively reviewed for vascular malformations from October 2010 to June 2015. All patients who had been treated for a high-flow craniofacial vascular malformation were included in the analysis. Clinical presentation, location, type, agent and techniques used, procedural complications, and clinical and imaging follow-up were included in the analysis.

Results Eighteen patients (12 female and 6 male) harboring 21 high-flow vascular malformations met the inclusion criteria in our study. All patients were symptomatic. One patient had two separated arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) (one nasal and the other forehead/scalp), and one patient had three separated scalp lesions. One patient with a nasal AVM had capillary malformation-AVM syndrome. Overall, 13 AVM and 8 arteriovenous fistuli were treated in 31 targeted embolization procedures (ranging from 1 procedure to 4 procedures, mean 1.7 procedures). Onyx was the predominant agent used in 25 procedures. In 31 procedures, 1 procedural complication (skin ulceration) occurred. At the end of the last treatment session 14 of the 21 lesions were cured. Symptomatic control was achieved in all cases, with resolution or significant improvement of the symptoms (mean follow-up of 10 months).

Conclusions High-flow craniofacial vascular malformations can be successfully managed with interventional techniques.

  • Arteriovenous Malformation
  • Embolic
  • Fistula
  • Intervention
  • Vascular Malformation

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  • Contributors Conception; acquisition and interpretation of the data: GD, IL, JB, CAP, MM-G. Drafting: GD, JB. Revising; final approval: GD, IL, JB, CAP, MM-G.

  • Competing interests GD, IL, and MM-G are consultants for Medtronic Neurovascular.

  • Ethics approval Institutional review board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.