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About Endovascular Embolization of AVMs and DAVFs of the Brain and Spine

Embolization is a minimally-invasive technique for blocking the abnormal vessels in an arteriovenous malformation or dural fistula.

It is usually done in an attempt to eliminate or reduce the risks of hemorrhage associated with either an AVM or DAVF.
With AVM or DAVF embolization, an interventional neuroradiologist guides a long tube called a catheter through a small incision in the groin up to the location of the AVM or DAVF. Through the catheter, the radiologist injects various materials, called embolic agents, into the abnormal blood vessels to reduce blood flow or completely block them.

Embolization, Surgery, and Stereotactic Radiosurgery

The interventional neuroradiologist will determine the best treatment(s) to use and the number of treatments needed based on your medical history, symptoms, and the size and location of the AVM or DAVF. Treatment may require any combination of stereotactic radiosurgery (a single high dose of targeted radiation), embolization, and surgical removal. The extent of treatment is usually judged by the complexity of the AVM or DAVF and is often “staged” if more than one treatment session is anticipated.
Embolization may be the only treatment required. Newer embolic agents are increasing the cure rate of embolization alone.

Conditions to Let Us Know About

When you have your consultation for an endovascular embolization, let the radiologist or nurse know if any of the following circumstances apply to you:

  • Currently pregnant or nursing
  • Previous reaction to iodine or contrast material
  • Renal disease
  • Asthma with inhaler use 2 times or more per day
  • Diabetic

Procedure Locations

Consultations for preventative endovascular embolizations are done at RIA Neurovascular.
The procedure is performed at the following Radiology Imaging Associates partner hospitals in the Denver, Colorado area:

  • Exempla Lutheran Hospital
  • Littleton Adventist Hospital
  • Medical Center of Aurora
  • Swedish Medical Center
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