Management of pediatric brainstem cavernous malformations: experience over 20 years at the hospital for sick children.

Division of Neurosurgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Surgery, The University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.37). 11/2009; 4(5):458-64. DOI: 10.3171/2009.6.PEDS0923
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Because of their location and biological behavior, brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) pose a formidable clinical challenge to the neurosurgeon. The optimal management of these lesions requires considerable neurosurgical judgment. Accordingly, the authors reviewed their experience with the management of pediatric brainstem CMs at the Hospital for Sick Children.
The authors performed a retrospective chart review of pediatric patients who had received diagnoses of a brainstem CM at the Hospital for Sick Children over the past 20 years.
Twenty patients were diagnosed with brainstem CMs. The mean age at diagnosis was 10.1 +/- 5.4 years, and the patients included 13 boys and 7 girls. The mean maximal diameter of the CM was 14.3 +/- 11.2 mm. The lesions were evenly distributed on the right and left sides of the brainstem with 4 midbrain, 13 pontine, and 3 medullary lesions. Seven patients underwent surgery for the management of their CMs, with a mean age at presentation of 5.2 years, and a mean CM size of 21.0 mm. Of note from the surgical group, 2 patients had a family history of CMs, 2 lesions were medullary, the CM reached a pial surface in 6 of 7 patients, and 6 of 7 lesions were located on the right side. The mean age at presentation among the 13 patients in the nonsurgical group was 12.7 years, and the mean CM size was 10.6 mm. Seven of these patients had a prior history of radiation for tumor, and only 3 had lesions that reached a pial surface.
The management of brainstem CMs in children is influenced by multiple factors. The majority of patients received conservative management and tended to be asymptomatic with smaller lesions. Patients with larger lesions and direct pial contact, in whom symptoms arose at a younger age were more likely to undergo surgical management. A history of familial CM was also a predictor for receiving surgical treatment. No patients with a prior history of radiation therapy underwent surgery for CMs. The presence of multiple lesions seemed to have no impact on the type of management chosen. Patients who underwent surgery did suffer morbidity related to the procedure, and tended to improve clinically over time. Conservative management was associated with new deficits arising in children, some of which improved with time. Consideration of many clinical and radiological parameters is thus prudent when managing the care of children with brainstem CMs.

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    ABSTRACT: Object The goal of this study was to evaluate surgical outcomes of pediatric brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) and identify the risk factors associated with postoperative full recovery and rebleeding. Methods The clinical charts and radiographs from a series of 52 pediatric patients (37 male and 15 female; mean age 12.2 years; range 1-17 years) who underwent surgery for brainstem CMs between 1996 and 2011 were reviewed. Follow-up evaluation measures were obtained retrospectively. Neurological function was evaluated using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score. Results The lesion locations among the 52 patients included the midbrain (n = 7, 13.5%), pons (n = 38, 73.1%), and medulla (n = 7, 13.5%). The mean duration of symptoms was 18.5 months, and the preoperative annual hemorrhage and rebleeding rates were 12.3% and 32.5% per patient-year, respectively. The mean lesion size was 2.1 cm. Gross-total resection without surgery-related death was achieved in 49 patients (94.2%). Immediate postoperative reduced neurological function was observed in 17 patients (32.7%). Surgical morbidities developed in 25 patients (48.1%) and remained in 11 patients (21.2%) after 7.9 years of follow-up. The mean mRS scores at admission, discharge after surgery, 3 and 6 months postsurgery, and recent evaluation were 2.0, 2.3, 2.0, 1.5, and 1.0, respectively. The postoperative mRS scores at 6 months (p < 0.001) and on recent evaluation (p < 0.001) were significantly lower than those at admission. Postoperative rebleeding occurred in 2 patients, and the postoperative annual rebleeding rate was 0.5% per patient-year. By the most recent evaluation, 10 patients (19.2%) had achieved full recovery and all patients were either improved (n = 32, 61.5%) or unchanged (n = 20, 38.5%). The adverse predictors for full recovery included age ≥ 12 years (HR 0.230, p = 0.021), ≥ 2 preoperative hemorrhages (HR 0.124, p = 0.048), and poor preoperative status (HR 0.197, p = 0.040). An HR < 1 predicted poor complete recoveries. The single risk factor predicting postoperative rebleeding was incomplete resection (χ(2) = 4.340, p = 0.037). Conclusions Fair outcomes for pediatric brainstem CMs could be obtained through surgery, but only a few patients achieved full recovery. Thus, to minimize surgical morbidity, surgical planning must be tailored to individual patients in all cases in which an operation is warranted. Complete resection must be attempted to reduce the risk of postoperative rebleeding. The predictors associated with complete postoperative recovery were referential for determining treatment.
    Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics 03/2014; DOI:10.3171/2014.2.PEDS13536 · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Object The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical appearance of untreated pediatric brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) and to identify the hemorrhage risks and functional outcomes. Methods All pediatric patients with a diagnosis of brainstem CM between 1985 and 2012 were registered. The clinical chart and radiographs were recorded, and follow-up evaluations were obtained prospectively. Results A total of 85 patients (69.4% male) were included with a mean age of 12.7 years. Sixty-seven patients (78.8%) had prior hemorrhage, and 6 patients (7.1%) were asymptomatic. There were 15 midbrain lesions, 53 pons lesions, and 17 medulla lesions. The mean lesion size was 1.9 cm. During a total of 401.6 patient-years of follow-up, 47 hemorrhages occurred in 37 patients, and the annual hemorrhage rate was 11.7% per patient-year. The mean hemorrhage interval was 47.8 months. The hemorrhage risk declined over time, especially after the first 2 years. Both a lesion size ≥ 2 cm (hazard ratio [HR] 2.122, p = 0.037) and the presence of perilesional edema (HR 2.192, p = 0.039) predicted future hemorrhage and were associated with a high annual hemorrhage rate. The hemorrhage-free survival at 6 months was 85.7%, and at 1, 5, 10, and 15 years was 71.5%, 49.4%, 27.5%, and 13.7%, respectively. At the most recent functional evaluation, 33 patients (38.8%) had improved, 32 (37.6%) had stabilized, and 20 (23.5%) had worsened, without any deaths. Twenty-two patients (25.9%) obtained a full recovery. Prospective hemorrhage (HR 0.191, p = 0.003) was the adverse predictor for full recovery. Full recovery primarily occurred within the first 12 months, after which the chance of full recovery decreased. The cumulative percentage of complete recovery at 6 months was 32.7%, and at 1, 3, and 5 years was 40.8%, 43.6%, and 49.2%, respectively. Conclusions In this study the hemorrhage rate was relatively high in pediatric brainstem CMs, although the functional outcome was acceptable. The decline in hemorrhage risk and the identified adverse predictors in this study were helpful for clinicians and patients when deciding on treatment. Referral bias and the insufficient follow-up period of the study were highlighted as limitations.
    Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics 03/2014; DOI:10.3171/2014.2.PEDS13487 · 1.37 Impact Factor