Radiosurgery for large cerebral arteriovenous malformations

Department of Neurosurgery, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
Acta Neurochirurgica (Impact Factor: 1.79). 02/2009; 151(2):113-24. DOI: 10.1007/s00701-008-0173-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Radiosurgery is an effective treatment option for patients with small to medium sized arteriovenous malformations. However, it is not generally accepted as an effective tool for larger (>14 cm(3)) arteriovenous malformations because of low obliteration rates. The authors assessed the applicability and effectiveness of radiosurgery for large arteriovenous malformations.
We performed a retrospective study of 46 consecutive patients with more than 14 ml of arteriovenous malformations who were treated with radiosurgery using a linear accelerator and gamma knife (GK). They were grouped according to their initial clinical presentation-17 presented with and 29 without haemorrhage. To assess the effect of embolization, these 46 patients were also regrouped into two subgroups-25 with and 21 without preradiosurgical embolization. Arteriovenous malformations found to have been incompletely obliterated after 3-year follow-up neuroimaging studies were re-treated using a GK.
The mean treatment volume was 29.5 ml (range, 14.0-65.0) and the mean marginal dose was 14.1 Gy (range, 10.0-20.0). The mean clinical follow-up periods after initial radiosurgery was 78.1 months (range, 34.0-166.4). Depending on the results of the angiography, 11 of 33 patients after the first radiosurgery and three of four patients after the second radiosurgery showed complete obliteration. Twenty patients received the second radiosurgery and their mean volume was significantly smaller than their initial volume (P = 0.017). The annual haemorrhage rate after radiosurgery was 2.9% in the haemorrhage group (mean follow-up 73.3 months) and 3.1% in the nonhaemorrhage group (mean follow-up 66.5 months) (P = 0.941). Preradiosurgical embolization increased the risk of haemorrhage for the nonhaemorrhage group (HR, 28.03; 95% CI, 1.08-6,759.64; P = 0.039), whereas it had no effect on the haemorrhage group. Latency period haemorrhage occurred in eight patients in the embolization group, but in no patient in the nonembolization group (P = 0.004).
Radiosurgery may be a safe and effective arteriovenous malformation treatment method that is worth considering as an alternative treatment option for a large arteriovenous malformation.

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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are abnormal connections between the arteries and veins, with possible serious consequences of intracranial hemorrhage. The curative treatment for AVMs includes microsurgery and radiosurgery, sometimes with embolization as an adjunct. However, controversies exist with the treatment options available for large to giant AVMs. Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT) is one treatment option for such difficult lesions. We aim to review recent literature, looking at the treatment outcome of HSRT in terms of AVM obliteration rate and complications. The rate of AVM obliteration utilizing HSRT as a primary treatment was comparable with that of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). For those not totally obliterated, HSRT makes them smaller and turns some lesions manageable by single-dose SRS or microsurgery. Higher doses per fraction seemed to exhibit better response. However, patients receiving higher total dose may be at risk for higher rates of complications. Fractionated regimens of 7 Gy × 4 and 6-6.5 Gy × 5 may be accepted compromises between obliteration and complication. Embolization may not be beneficial prior to HSRT in terms of obliteration rate or the volume reduction. Future work should aim on a prospectively designed study for larger patient groups and long-term follow-up results.
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