Eight therapeutic embolisation procedures were performed by the transcutaneous catheter technique in seven patients with congenital heart disease. After surgical correction of tetralogy of Fallot (four patients), catheter embolisation was used to occlude two large aortopulmonary collaterals (one patient), three small aortopulmonary collaterals (one patient), and two Blalock-Taussig shunts (two patients). In two patients congenital coronary anomalies were occluded--a coronary arteriovenous malformation and a coronary artery/bronchial artery anastomosis. In one patient a pulmonary arteriovenous malformation was embolised. Detachable balloons were used to occlude six large arteries, the three small arteries were occluded with small gelfoam fragments, and the pulmonary arteriovenous malformation was occluded with multiple steel coils and large gelfoam pieces. Successful occlusion was achieved in all cases. No complications were encountered and the procedure was well tolerated even in the two patients receiving postoperative intensive care. Therapeutic embolisation in suitable cases is a safe and effective alternative to surgery and the detachable balloon technique is effective in occluding high flow vessels.
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