Combined Transarterial and Transvenous Onyx Embolization of Jugular Foramen Paragangliomas


Department of Neurosurgery, Advocate Aurora Health


OBJECTIVE: Jugular foramen paragangliomas are highly vascular tumors known to have significant venous hemorrhage during resection even after conventional transarterial embolization. The authors report a novel technique to the endovascular embolization of jugular foramen paragangliomas using a combined transarterial and transvenous access for better intraoperative control of blood loss and visualization.

METHODS: This is a retrospective data collection of 2 patients diagnosed with jugular foramen paragangliomas with novel embolization technique and surgical resection.

RESULTS: Two patients underwent embolization of jugular foramen paragangliomas through combined transarterial and transvenous routes using 2 double-lumen balloon microcatheters. In both cases, single arterial vessel embolization was performed through the occipital artery in Case 1 and the tympanic branch of the ascending pharyngeal artery in Case 2. Simultaneously, balloon microcatheter occlusion in the sigmoid sinus and single venous outflow vessel embolization was performed. Near-complete occlusion was established, with angiographic disappearance of tumor blush. Surgical resection was performed in both cases. Estimated blood loss BL was 600 mL in Case 1 and 200 mL in Case 2. No blood transfusions were required, intraoperatively or postoperatively. There were no cranial nerve deficits post embolization. One patient had a persistent House Brackman 2 facial nerve palsy after resection.

CONCLUSIONS: The initial experience with simultaneous transvenous and transarterial paraganglioma embolization demonstrated the safety of the technique and superior embolic agent penetration. This was supported by our observations during embolization and intraoperatively during tumor resection. Additional patients need to be treated with this technique for better assessment of long-term efficacy and incidence of embolization-related cranial neuropathies.

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