Transfemoral Approach for Intraoperative Angiography in the Prone or Three-quarter Prone Position

A Revisited Protocol for Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformation and Fistula Surgery



Among the different arterial accesses, the femoral access is the main approach for intraoperative angiography (IOA) performed in a prone position. Without a standardized protocol, however, the application of prone IOAs in intracranial arteriovenous malformation (AVM) or arteriovenous fistula (AVF) surgery remains limited by its procedural complexity. This study describes the detailed protocol for prone IOA through a transfemoral approach and highlights several refinements in preparing this procedure.


This study retrospectively reviewed the intracranial or high cervical AVM/AVF surgical cases in which both resection and IOA were performed in the prone or three-quarter prone position. Extended femoral sheath approaches and radiolucent head clamps were used in all cases. An aneurysm clip, serving as a localization landmark in IOA, was routinely placed within the surgical field. The IOA imaging, clinical impact of IOA, and complications related to the procedure were recorded.


A total of six AVM and three AVF cases, operated on in the prone (n = 7) or three-quarter prone (n = 2) positions, were included. Multiple vessel injections were required in 66.7% of cases, and IOA was successfully performed in every intended vessel. All IOA images were adequate for interpretation, except for two cases in which the non-radiolucent component of the head clamp obscured the region of interest in the lateral views. Incomplete occlusion was identified in two patients, and the aneurysm clip provided precise guidance in localizing the residual nidus. Final IOA confirmed complete lesion removal in all cases, and there were no IOA-related complications.


Three key steps in setting-up a prone IOA procedure for intracranial AVM/AVF surgery are proposed: (1) utilize an extended femoral sheath approach, (2) establish a localization landmark with an aneurysm clip and (3) avoid possible image interference from the non-radiolucent component of the head clamp.

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Correspondence to I-Chang Su.

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C. Wang, S.-K. Hsu, C.-J. Chang, M.-H. Chen, C.-T. Huang, J.-S. Huang and I.-C. Su declare that they have no competing interests.

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Wang, C., Hsu, S., Chang, C. et al. Transfemoral Approach for Intraoperative Angiography in the Prone or Three-quarter Prone Position. Clin Neuroradiol 30, 373–379 (2020).

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  • Arteriovenous fistula
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Intraoperative localization
  • Non-supine position
  • Hybrid operating room