Percutaneous sclerotherapy with gelified ethanol of low-flow vascular malformations of the head and neck region: Preliminary results

Anna Maria Ierardi, Giacomo Colletti, Pierpaolo Biondetti, Margherita Dessy, Gianpaolo Carrafiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE We aimed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of percutaneous sclerotherapy using gelified ethanol in patients with low-flow malformations (LFMs). METHODS A retrospective study was performed, analyzing treatment and outcome data of 6 patients that presented with 7 LFMs (3 lymphatic and 3 venous). Median diameter of LFMs was 6 cm (inter-quartile range [IQR], 4.5–8.5 cm). Data regarding pain, functional and/or cosmetic issues were assessed. Diagnosis was performed clinically and confirmed by Doppler ultrasound, while extension of disease was assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Percutaneous puncture was performed with 23G needle directly or with ultrasound guidance. All the LFMs were treated with gelified ethanol injection. The median volume injected per treatment session was 4.4 mL. RESULTS Technical and clinical success were obtained in all cases. No recurrences were recorded during a median follow up of 17 months (IQR, 12–19 months). Among the 6 patients, 5 had complete relief (83%) and one showed improvement of symptoms. The median VAS score was 7 (IQR, 6–7.5) before and 0 (IQR, 0–0) after treatment. All patients had functional and esthetic improvement (100%). Four patients (66.7%) revealed very good acceptance and two patients (33.3%) good acceptance. No major complications or systemic side effects were observed. CONCLUSION Gelified ethanol percutaneous sclerotherapy was easy to handle, well-tolerated, safe and effective in the short-term follow-up. Longer follow-up of efficacy is mandatory for further conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-464
Number of pages6
JournalDiagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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