In cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) detailed intraoperative identification of feeding arteries, nidal vessels and draining veins is crucial for surgery.
Intraoperative imaging techniques like indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VAG) provide information about vessel architecture and patency, but do not allow time-dependent analysis of intravascular blood flow.
Here we report on our first experiences with analytical indocyanine green videoangiography (aICG-VAG) using FLOW 800 software as a useful tool for assessing the time-dependent intraoperative blood flow during surgical removal of cerebral AVMs. Microscope-integrated colour-encoded aICG-VAG was used for the surgical treatment of a 38-year-old woman diagnosed with an incidental AVM, Spetzler Martin grade I, of the left frontal lobe and of a 26-year-old man suffering from seizures caused by a symptomatic AVM, Spetzler Martin grade III, of the right temporal lobe. Analytical ICG-VAG visualization was intraoperatively correlated with in situ micro-Doppler investigation, as well as preoperative and postoperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA).
Analytical ICG-VAG is fast, easy to handle and integrates intuitively into surgical procedures. It allows colour-encoded visualization of blood flow distribution with high temporal and spatial resolution. Superficial major and minor feeding arteries can be clearly separated from the nidus and draining veins. Effects of stepwise vessel obliteration on velocity and direction of AVM blood flow can be objectified. High quality of visualization, however, is limited to the site of surgery. Colour-encoded aICG-VAG with FLOW 800 enables intraoperative real-time analysis of arterial and venous vessel architecture and might, therefore, increase efficacy and safety of neurovascular surgery in a selected subset of superficial AVMs.