BACKGROUND--Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations may cause a number of complications when left untreated. Embolisation of the feeding vessels is a relatively new approach and information concerning its efficacy and long term results is scarce. METHODS--Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations with feeding arteries of > 3 mm were treated by embolisation. Right to left shunt fraction and arterial oxygen pressure breathing air (PaO2) were measured before and after treatment. Six monthly measurement of shunt fraction was used for follow up. RESULTS--In 32 patients 92 pulmonary arteriovenous malformations were treated by coil embolisation. Mean shunt fraction decreased from 16.6% to 7.4% and PaO2 increased from 9.6 kPa to 11.5 kPa. Treatment was incomplete in two patients, one of whom was subsequently treated surgically. Serious complications occurred in one patient. Recanalisation of embolised vessels occurred in two cases after 22 and 28 months, respectively. Mean period of follow up was 25 months. CONCLUSIONS--Embolisation is a safe and efficacious treatment for most pulmonary arteriovenous malformations. Long term studies are necessary to determine the risk of recanalisation.
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