What is endovascular embolization?
Endovascular embolization (endovascular access) is a minimally invasive technique performed to cut off the blood supply to a specific part of an artery.
Conditions treated with endovascular embolization:
Endovascular embolization for arteriovenous malformations (AVM):
Endovascular embolization is a more recent technique for the treatment of arteriovenous malformations (AVM). During this treatment, we pass a catheter through the groin up into the arteries in the brain that lead to the AVM and inject a material into these arteries. This injection shuts off that artery and reduces the flow of blood through the AVM.
Endovascular embolization by itself typically does not eliminate the AVM and is, therefore, almost always used as a preliminary step in preparation for either microsurgical resection or stereotactic radiotherapy.
Read an article by Drs Judy Huang, Michael Lim, and Daniele Rigamonti on The Radiosurgical Treatment of Arteriovenous Malformations.
Endovascular embolization for dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVF):
For the majority of patients, endovascular embolization is typically sufficient to cure dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVF). During endovascular embolization, a catheter is passed through the groin up into the arteries in the brain that lead to the DAVF to inject a material into these arteries. This injection shuts off that artery and reduces the flow of blood through the DAVF.
The Johns Hopkins Cerebrovascular Team evaluates each DAVF patient to decide the best treatment for that patient's specific DAVF. In special cases, we may opt to use both techniques (microsurgical resection and endovascular embolization) in combination.