Heart and Vessels

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 134–140 | Cite as

Collateral closure in congenital heart defects with Amplatzer vascular plugs: single-center experience and a simplified delivery technique for exceptional cases

  • Rouven Kubicki
  • Brigitte Stiller
  • Johanna Hummel
  • Rene Höhn
  • Thilo Fleck
  • Jochen GrohmannEmail author
Original Article


The study describes our experience with Amplatzer Vascular Plugs (AVP2 and 4) and highlights a more refindes telescopic technique for AVP2 delivery. AVPs are well-established occlusion devices for vascular anomalies in congenital heart disease (CHD). The AVP2 is sometimes preferred to the AVP4 due to its shorter length, flat-profiled retention disks, and the availability of larger diameters, but its profile requires a larger inner lumen for safe delivery. The latter may actually hamper access to target lesions. This is a retrospective analysis of all CHD patients treated with the AVP2 and AVP4 between 12/2012 and 12/2015. Target vessels were characterized, measured, and the device-to-vessel diameter ratio calculated. A modified pigtail technique for AVP2 delivery was frequently used: a floppy wire was simply reinforced by the curved tip of a pigtail catheter (instead of the long sheath’s dilator) to guide the required delivery sheath towards the desired landing zone. 59 patients with a median age and bodyweight of 3.0 years (range 0.1–75) and 13.8 kg (range 2.5–80) underwent the implantation of 106 plug-devices (30 AVP2, 76 AVP4) in 91 target vessels. Indications for their use were ductus arteriosus (19%), aortopulmonary (43%) as well as venovenous collaterals (34%) and other miscellaneous lesions (4%). The pigtail-supported AVP2 delivery in six patients proved very convenient. No complications occurred. AVPs are excellent devices for embolizing shunt vessels in CHD patients. Here, we describe a simplified telescoping technique for AVP2 delivery to enter curvy target lesions gently and efficiently.


Percutaneous intervention Congenital heart disease Embolization Amplatzer vascular plug Telescopic catheter technique 



We thank Carole Cürten for language editing, Max Grohmann for photography and Stefan Heinz for graphic design.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest and do not have to disclose any agreements.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Medical CenterUniversity Heart Center Freiburg, Bad Krozingen, University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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