Percutaneous transcatheter arterial embolization has played an increasingly important role in the management of vascular lesions in the head. Embolization can promote thrombosis within vascular tumors and malformations, reduce bleeding and decrease the need for transfusion intraoperatively, and facilitate surgical approaches to otherwise unresectable lesions. It is important for the clinician to be aware of this interventional technique because many of the patients who are considered for embolization are triaged through several different clinical areas, and much can be gained from the collaboration of the clinician, the surgeon, and the angiographer. We performed 31 therapeutic particulate embolization procedures for extra-axial head lesions in 23 patients by using flow-directed techniques. Of these procedures, 11 resulted in vascular occlusion and 15 resulted in 80 to 95% obstruction, as demonstrated by angiography. In 14 patients, embolization was performed preoperatively both to decrease blood loss and to occlude inaccessible or unresectable portions of a lesion. In nine patients, embolization was the sole means of treatment for occluding an abnormal vascular shunt. Two patients (9%) experienced a minor transient neurologic change after the procedure.
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