ONYX versus n-BCA for embolization of cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas

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To evaluate the efficacy of n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate (Trufill n-BCA) versus ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (ONYX) for the embolization of cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVF).


Fifty-three consecutive patients with cranial dural AVF were treated with liquid embolic agents from November, 2003 to November, 2008. These 53 patients had 56 lesions treated with arterial embolization. Patients embolized to completion underwent follow-up angiography at 3 months to assess for durable occlusion.


Twenty-one lesions were treated with n-BCA. Seven patients treated with n-BCA had initial angiographic occlusion of their DAVF, which were durable at 3 months. Six patients had adjunctive treatment with coils and/or polyvinyl alcohol particles, but none of these were occluded by endovascular treatment alone. Eleven patients underwent post-embolization surgery for closure of their DAVF. There was one death related to intractable status epilepticus at presentation. One patient developed a major stroke from venous sinus thrombosis after embolization. Thirty-five lesions were treated with ONYX in 34 patients. Twenty-nine patients treated with ONYX had initial angiographic occlusion of their DAVF by embolization alone. One patient had recurrence at 3 months and was re-treated out of 27 total follow-ups. Four patients underwent post-embolization surgical obliteration of their lesions. No deaths or major strokes occurred in this cohort.


Initial angiographic occlusion (p=0.0004) and durable angiographic occlusion (p=0.0018) rates for embolization of cranial DAVF show a statistically significant higher efficacy with ONYX compared with n-BCA. Patients embolized with ONYX underwent surgery less frequently compared with those treated with n-BCA (p=0.0015).

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