Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Cryoablation of low-flow vascular malformations


Department of Radiology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA


Department of Radiology, Division of Endovascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology, Lexington Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky, USA


Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Texas Health Center, Houston, Texas, USA

Diagn Interv Radiol 2019; 25: 225-230
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2019.18278
Read: 772 Downloads: 316 Published: 03 September 2019



We aimed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of cryoablation in the treatment of low-flow malformations, specifically venous malformation (VM) and fibroadipose vascular anomaly (FAVA).



We conducted a retrospective review of 11 consecutive patients with low-flow malformations (14 lesions; 9 VM, 5 FAVA), median lesion volume 10.8 cm3, (range, 1.8–55.6 cm3) with a median age of 19 years (range, 10–50 years) who underwent cryoablation to achieve symptomatic control. Average follow-up was at a median of 207 days postprocedure (range, 120–886 days). Indications for treatment included focal pain and swelling. Technical success was achieved if the cryoablation ice ball covered the region of the malformation that corresponded to the patient’s symptoms. Clinical success was considered complete if all symptoms resolved and partial if some symptoms persisted but did not necessitate further treatment.



The technical success rate was 100%. At 1-month follow-up, 13 of 14 lesions (93%) had a complete response and one (7%) had a partial response. At 6-month follow-up 12 of 13 (92%) had a complete response and 1 (8%) had a partial response. A total of 6 patients underwent primary cryoablation. Out of 9 VM cases, 7 had prior sclerotherapy and 2 had primary cryoablation. Out of the 5 FAVA cases, 1 had prior sclerotherapy and the remaining 4 cases underwent primary cryoablation. There were 3 minor complications following cryoablation including 2 cases of skin blisters and 1 case of transient numbness. These complications resolved with conservative management.



Cryoablation is safe and effective in the treatment of low-flow vascular malformations, either after sclerotherapy or as primary treatment.


You may cite this article as: Ramaswamy RS, Tiwari T, Darcy MD, et al. Cryoablation of low-flow vascular malformations. Diagn Interv Radiol 2019; 25:225–230.

EISSN 1305-3612