Transvenous embolization of dural carotid cavernous fistulas: the role of liquid embolic agents in association with coils on patient outcomes

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Transvenous embolization is the standard treatment for dural carotid cavernous fistulas (DCCF). Although various embolic materials have been used, the best embolic material for the treatment of DCCF is still unknown.


To assess the safety and efficacy of different embolic materials used for the endovascular treatment of DCCF.


A retrospective data analysis of a consecutive series of 62 patients presenting DCCF was performed. Clinical and radiological data from patients were assessed, and the embolic material used—coils or liquids—were compared between two groups of patients.


Complete angiographic occlusion of DCCF after treatment was achieved in 83.9% of the patients (52/62). We found a higher rate of complete occlusion of DCCF when liquids were associated with coils than with coils alone (96.5% vs 71.8%, p=0.01), and no differences in complication rates or clinical outcomes were seen between the two groups. At the 6-month follow-up, we found a higher rate of improvement in ocular symptoms compared with cranial nerve palsy improvement (94.7% vs 77.7%, p=0.02). Two patients (3.2%) had treatment-related complications without clinical symptoms.


In this study, in comparison with the use of coils alone, the association of transvenous embolization with liquid embolic agents for DCCF treatment resulted in higher rates of complete occlusion without increasing complication rates. The clinical outcome at the 6-month follow-up showed significant improvement in ocular symptoms over cranial nerve palsy regression, which was independent of the embolic agent chosen for treatment.

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