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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2010 May;31(5):947-54. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A1959. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Brain arteriovenous malformation treatment using a combination of Onyx and a new detachable tip microcatheter, SONIC: short-term results.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel.



Endovascular embolization with Onyx is one of the tools used in the treatment of intracerebral AVMs. The recent introduction of a new microcatheter with detachable tip has led us to adopt a new treatment approach by using endovascular embolization with Onyx as the main treatment for brain AVM with curative intent. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate our initial results by using this new treatment strategy with special emphasis on the safety and feasibility of the technique.


Forty-three consecutive patients were treated by embolization for brain AVM over a 14-month period, mostly by using Onyx and a microcatheter with detachable tip. Twenty-six of these patients (60%) harbored Spetzler-Martin AVMs of grades 4-5.


Endovascular treatments were completed in 29 out of 43 patients; the median number of procedures per patient was 2 (range, 1-4). Complete obliteration by using embolization exclusively was achieved in 16 patients, resulting in a 55% cure rate in patients who concluded treatments (16/29) and 37% in the cohort (16/43). The amount of Onyx injected by using microcatheters with detachable tips was significantly larger than that injected with the nondetachable microcatheters (mean volume, 2.5 +/- 2.2 versus 1.7 +/- 1.3 mL, respectively, P < .05, t test). Seven clinical complications were observed in a total of 76 embolization sessions (9.2%).


Endovascular embolization of brain AVM by using Onyx and SONIC results in a relatively high complete obliteration. The use of the microcatheter with detachable tip adds several advantages, mainly in that higher volumes of Onyx can be safely injected.

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