Preoperative balloon occlusion of arteriovenous malformation

V. V. Halbach, R. T. Higashida, P. Yang, S. Barnwell, C. B. Wilson, G. B. Hieshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Many materials have been utilized to embolize cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) preoperatively. Specific vascular anatomy with large feeding vessels deep to the nidus or aneurysms within feeding arteries favor the use of detachable balloons over other embolic agents. Detachable balloons allow test occlusion of a vascular pedicle before permanent occlusion and can obliterate aneurysms in feeding arteries. We describe 36 feeder arterial balloon occlusions performed in 31 patients. Twenty-nine patients subsequently had surgical resection. None of the patients developed normal perfusion pressure breakthrough or required blood transfusions. The preoperative balloon occlusion was judged by the neurosurgeon to decrease significantly the difficulty in surgical resection of the malformation. The remaining 2 patients underwent embolization before radiosurgery. One patient had aneurysms in the feeding artery, which was balloon-occluded to diminish the risk of hemorrhage. There were two neurological deficits and three asymptomatic arterial dissections related to the balloon procedure. Balloon occlusion of feeding arterial pedicles in selected cerebral AVMs may be a valuable surgical adjunct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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