Article

Natural Course of Cerebral Cavernous Malformations in Children: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the natural course of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) in the pediatric population, with special emphasis on the risk of first and recurrent bleeding over a 5-year period. METHODS: Our institutional database was screened for patients with CCM treated between 2003 and 2020. Patients ≤18 years of age with complete magnetic resonance imaging data set, clinical baseline characteristics, and ≥1 follow-up examination were included. Surgically treated individuals were censored after CCM removal. We assessed the impact of various parameters on first or recurrent intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) at diagnosis using univariate and multivariate logistic regression adjusted for age and sex. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the cumulative 5-year risk for (re)hemorrhage. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-nine pediatric patients with CCM were analyzed. Univariate logistic regression identified brain stem CCM (odds ratio, 3.15 [95% CI, 1.15−8.63], P=0.026) and familial history of CCM (odds ratio, 2.47 [95% CI, 1.04−5.86], P=0.041) as statistically significant predictors of ICH at diagnosis. Multivariate logistic regression confirmed this correlation (odds ratio, 3.62 [95% CI, 1.18−8.99], P=0.022 and odds ratio, 2.53 [95% CI, 1.07−5.98], P=0.035, respectively). Cox regression analysis identified ICH as mode of presentation (hazard ratio, 14.01 [95% CI, 1.80−110.39], P=0.012) as an independent predictor for rehemorrhage during the 5-year follow-up. The cumulative 5-year risk of (re)bleeding was 15.9% (95% CI, 10.2%−23.6%) for the entire cohort, 30.2% (20.2%−42.3%) for pediatric patients with ICH at diagnosis, and 29.5% (95% CI, 13.9%−51.1%) for children with brain stem CCM. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric patients with brain stem CCM and familial history of CCM have a higher risk of ICH as mode of presentation. During untreated 5-year follow-up, they revealed a similar risk of (re)hemorrhage compared to adult patients. The probability of (re)bleeding increases over time, especially in cases with ICH at presentation or brain stem localization.

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... Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM), known as angiographically occult and low-flow vascular malformation, was the second commonest cerebral vascular malformation, and up to 35% of CCMs were located in the brainstem [17]. The location of the brainstem was deemed to be vulnerable to bleeding and had been verified as an independent risk factor for hemorrhage [3,11,20,29,31,33]. Rupture of brainstem CM would lead to various hemorrhagic symptoms, and repeated hemorrhages could cause increased morbidity and even sporadically fatal compared to other locations [24][25][26]. ...
... The 5-year cumulative hemorrhage risk for brainstem CMs varied in prior studies and was susceptible to study design and patient population [5,11,12,15,21,24,[30][31][32]. Even in the same study by Al-Shahi Salman and colleagues [5,20] [11] (n = 210) was illustrated as higher than 40%. ...
... Even in the same study by Al-Shahi Salman and colleagues [5,20] [11] (n = 210) was illustrated as higher than 40%. Mode of presentation with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and brainstem location was identified as independent risk factors for hemorrhage [11,20,31], typical cardiovascular risk factors were insignificant [12], and other factors (DVA, size, multiplicity, gender, and age) remained arguable due to heterogeneity and selection bias in prior studies [18]. The association of increasing age with bleeding was controversial, and it was unexpected that age ≥ 55 years significantly predicted prospective hemorrhage. ...
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Hemorrhage of brainstem cavernous malformation (CM) would cause various symptoms and severe disability. The study aimed to elaborate on the 5-year actuarial cumulative hazard of symptomatic hemorrhage. Patients diagnosed in our institute between 2009 and 2013 were prospectively registered. All clinical data were obtained, follow-up was performed, and risk factors were evaluated. Four hundred sixty-eight patients (217 female, 46.4%) were included in the study with a median follow-up duration of 79.0 months. A total of 137 prospective hemorrhages occurred in 107 patients (22.9%) during 1854.0 patient-years. Multivariate Cox analysis found age ≥ 55 years (hazard ratio (HR) 2.166, p = 0.002), DVA (HR 1.576, p = 0.026), superficial-seated location (HR 1.530, p = 0.047), and hemorrhage on admission (HR 2.419, p = 0.026) as independent risk factors for hemorrhage. The 5-year cumulative hazard of hemorrhage was 30.8% for the overall cohort, 47.8% for 60 patients with age ≥ 55 years, 43.7% for 146 patients with DVA, 37.9% for 272 patients with superficial-seated lesions, and 37.2% for 341 patients with hemorrhage on admission. As a stratified analysis, within subcohort of 341 patients with a hemorrhagic presentation, age ≥ 55 years (HR 3.005, p < 0.001), DVA (HR 1.801, p = 0.010), and superficial-seated location (HR 2.276, p = 0.001) remained independently significant. The 5-year cumulative hazard of hemorrhage was 52.0% for 119 patients with both DVA and hemorrhagic presentation. The 5-year cumulative hemorrhagic risk was 30.8% and was higher in subgroups if harboring risk factors that helped to predict potential hemorrhagic candidates and were useful for treatment decision-making. Clinical Trial Registration-URL: http://www.chictr.org.cn Unique identifier: ChiCTR-POC-17011575.
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Purpose: Cavernous malformations (CMs) are rare developmental cerebrovascular malformations of the central nervous system with a childhood prevalence of 0.3 to 0.53%. Our purpose was to assess the clinical features and microsurgical outcome in pediatric central nervous system (CNS) CMs. Material and methods: We retrospectively enrolled all the CM patients admitted to our institute from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2014. Data was analyzed for their clinical features and surgical outcome. Results: A total of 50 patients with CMs (30 supratentorial, 14 infratentorial, and 6 spinal) with a mean age of 14 years (3-18 years, SD ±4.64) were enrolled into the study. Most of these patients (78%) were male. Size varied from 1.2 to 6 cm. Three patients had multiple CMs. Symptoms of CMs were site specific. Seizure was the most common symptom (63.3%) of CMs at supratentorial location followed by headache (46%) and neurodeficiency (26%), while all brainstem and spinal CMs presented with neurodeficiencies. History of clinically significant acute hemorrhage was present in 19.2% of supratentorial (ST) superficial CMs, 50% of ST deep CMs, 25% of cerebellar CMs, 44.4% of brainstem CMs, and 50% of spinal CMs. Forty-five CMs in 44 patients were surgically excised. Their follow-up ranged from 6 to 162 months (mean 47.2 months, SD ±53). All supratentorial CM patients showed improvement in their symptoms. Patients with preoperative seizure showed good seizure control with Engel scale I in 16 (94.1%) and Engel scale II in 1 (5.9%). In infratentorial (IT) and spinal CM patients, 92.3 and 66.7% had improvement in their neurodeficiencies, respectively. There was no mortality in our series. Conclusion: Microsurgical excision of CNS CM results in excellent neurological outcome in pediatric patients. Early intervention is necessary in spinal CMs for better outcome.
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Background: Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) can cause symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage (ICH), but the estimated risks are imprecise and predictors remain uncertain. We aimed to obtain precise estimates and predictors of the risk of ICH during untreated follow-up in an individual patient data meta-analysis. Methods: We invited investigators of published cohorts of people aged at least 16 years, identified by a systematic review of Ovid MEDLINE and Embase from inception to April 30, 2015, to provide individual patient data on clinical course from CCM diagnosis until first CCM treatment or last available follow-up. We used survival analysis to estimate the 5-year risk of symptomatic ICH due to CCMs (primary outcome), multivariable Cox regression to identify baseline predictors of outcome, and random-effects models to pool estimates in a meta-analysis. Findings: Among 1620 people in seven cohorts from six studies, 204 experienced ICH during 5197 person-years of follow-up (Kaplan-Meier estimated 5-year risk 15·8%, 95% CI 13·7-17·9). The primary outcome of ICH within 5 years of CCM diagnosis was associated with clinical presentation with ICH or new focal neurological deficit (FND) without brain imaging evidence of recent haemorrhage versus other modes of presentation (hazard ratio 5·6, 95% CI 3·2-9·7) and with brainstem CCM location versus other locations (4·4, 2·3-8·6), but age, sex, and CCM multiplicity did not add independent prognostic information. The 5-year estimated risk of ICH during untreated follow-up was 3·8% (95% CI 2·1-5·5) for 718 people with non-brainstem CCM presenting without ICH or FND, 8·0% (0·1-15·9) for 80 people with brainstem CCM presenting without ICH or FND, 18·4% (13·3-23·5) for 327 people with non-brainstem CCM presenting with ICH or FND, and 30·8% (26·3-35·2) for 495 people with brainstem CCM presenting with ICH or FND. Interpretation: Mode of clinical presentation and CCM location are independently associated with ICH within 5 years of CCM diagnosis. These findings can inform decisions about CCM treatment. Funding: UK Medical Research Council, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government, and UK Stroke Association. © 2015 Horne et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY.
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Background: Cavernous malformations (CMs) of the central nervous system (CNS) are angiographically occult vascular lesions that affect approximately 0.5 % of the general population, and one quarter of all CMs occurs in children. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed demographic, clinical, radiological, management, and follow-up data of 36 pediatric patients with CMs from a single institution. Results: The mean age of the children at first presentation and at operation was 8.7 and 9.6 years, respectively. However, a bimodal age distribution was found with peak under 4 years and above 12 years. Seizure was the most common single presenting symptom (38.9 %), and 61.1 % of patients had at least one seizure before the admission. Focal neurological deficits (410.7 %), intracranial hypertension (27.8 %), and headache (2.8 %) were the other manifestations. Acute/subacute hemorrhage was evident at presentation in 63.9 %. The patients under 6 years of age were found to have significantly more giant cavernomas (69 vs 20 %; p = 0.011), and more overt hemorrhages (81 vs 47 %; p = 0.065) at diagnosis than those patients above 12 years. Surgery was performed in 31 patients (32 CMs), with 26 total and 6 incomplete resections. Mean follow-up duration was 6.9 ± 4.1 years. Of all patients, 63.8 % had excellent and 30.5 % had good clinical outcomes, and also 90.9 % of the epileptic patients were seizure-free (Engel Class I) at the last follow-up. Conclusions: Younger children tend to harbor larger CMs and present with hemorrhage more frequently than older ones. Microsurgical resection should be the treatment of choice in symptomatic and accessible CMs.
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Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are prone to bleeding but the risk of intracranial haemorrhage and focal neurological deficits, and the factors that might predict their occurrence, are unclear. We aimed to quantify these risks and investigate whether they are affected by sex and CCM location. We undertook a population-based study using multiple overlapping sources of case ascertainment (including a Scotland-wide collaboration of neurologists, neurosurgeons, stroke physicians, radiologists, and pathologists, as well as searches of registers of hospital discharges and death certificates) to identify definite CCM diagnoses first made in Scottish residents between 1999 and 2003, which study neuroradiologists independently validated. We used multiple sources of prospective follow-up both to identify outcome events (which were assessed by use of brain imaging, by investigators masked to potential predictive factors) and to assess adults' dependence. The primary outcome was a composite of intracranial haemorrhage or focal neurological deficits (not including epileptic seizure) that were definitely or possibly related to CCM. 139 adults had at least one definite CCM and 134 were alive at initial presentation. During 1177 person-years of follow-up (completeness 97%), for intracranial haemorrhage alone the 5-year risk of a first haemorrhage was lower than the risk of recurrent haemorrhage (2·4%, 95% CI 0·0-5·7 vs 29·5%, 4·1-55·0; p<0·0001). For the primary outcome, the 5-year risk of a first event was lower than the risk of recurrence (9·3%, 3·1-15·4 vs 42·4%, 26·8-58·0; p<0·0001). The annual risk of recurrence of the primary outcome declined from 19·8% (95% CI 6·1-33·4) in year 1 to 5·0% (0·0-14·8) in year 5 and was higher for women than men (p=0·01) but not for adults with brainstem CCMs versus CCMs in other locations (p=0·17). The risk of recurrent intracranial haemorrhage or focal neurological deficit from a CCM is greater than the risk of a first event, is greater for women than for men, and declines over 5 years. This information can be used in clinical practice, but further work is needed to quantify risks precisely in the long term and to understand why women are at greater risk of recurrence than men. UK Medical Research Council, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government, and UK Stroke Association.
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Cavernous malformations (CMs) consist of dilated vascular channels that have a characteristic appearance on MRI. CMs are usually found intracranially, although such lesions can also affect the spinal cord. Individuals with CMs can present with epilepsy and focal neurological deficits or acute intracranial hemorrhage. In many cases, however, patients with such lesions are asymptomatic at diagnosis. Furthermore, several natural history studies have documented that a substantial proportion of asymptomatic CMs follow a benign course. Surgical resection is recommended for CMs that require intervention. Radiosurgery has been advocated for many lesions that have not been easily accessible by conventional surgery. The outcomes of radiosurgery and surgery for deep lesions, however, vary widely between studies, rendering treatment recommendations for such CMs difficult to make. In addition to reviewing the literature, this article will discuss the current understanding of lesion pathophysiology and explore the controversial issues in the management of CMs, such as when to use radiosurgery or surgery in deep-seated lesions, the treatment of epilepsy, and the safety of anticoagulation.
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The main clinico-diagnostic features, risk factors and associated diseases of cavernous malformations (CMs), also called cavernous angiomas or cavernomas, of the central nervous system (CNS) in children are described, and the most relevant differences compared to the affected adult population are pointed out, focusing on the management of pediatric patients harboring cranial and spinal CMs. This was a retrospective study of a series of 42 children symptomatic for CMs of the cranial and spinal compartments (35 supratentorial brain lesions, 5 infratentorial and 2 in the spinal region) operated on between 1975 and 2005, with a clinical follow-up ranging from 12 to 192 months. The results were compared with those found in the most recent literature dealing with pediatric CMs of the CNS. Surgical treatment produced excellent or good results in 69% of our 42 children. Unchanged neurological deficits were observed in 23.8% of cases, while morbidity from surgical procedures was 7.14%. Mortality was absent in this series. These surgical results are comparable with those found in the literature, where morbidity and mortality rates from surgery are 8.8 and 1.13%, respectively, and are mostly associated with procedures for the excision of deep, critically located cavernomas. CMs represent the most common CNS vascular lesion in children, although their incidence is 4 times lower than that of the adult population. The natural history of pediatric CMs throughout the neuraxis seems to be more aggressive than in adult patients; these lesions have higher rates of growth and hemorrhage, larger dimensions and often atypical radiological pictures at diagnosis. Beside the familial form of the disease, which is more often associated with multiple lesions and an earlier age of clinical presentation, the major risk factor for CMs in children seems to be radiotherapy for CNS tumors. Furthermore, a greater number of CMs coexistent with mixed angiomatous lesions have been reported in children than in adults. Surgical results are related to the preoperative neurological status of the children; symptomatic patients who are operated on early, before they develop severe neurological deficits or long-standing seizures, may achieve the best clinical outcome. Radiosurgery does not seem to be advisable in children as an alternative treatment for deep CMs or those causing epilepsy.
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Loss to follow-up is problematic in most cohort studies and often leads to bias. Although guidelines suggest acceptable follow-up rates, the authors are unaware of studies that test the validity of these recommendations. The objective of this study was to determine whether the recommended follow-up thresholds of 60-80% are associated with biased effects in cohort studies. A simulation study was conducted using 1000 computer replications of a cohort of 500 observations. The logistic regression model included a binary exposure and three confounders. Varied correlation structures of the data represented various levels of confounding. Differing levels of loss to follow-up were generated through three mechanisms: missing completely at random (MCAR), missing at random (MAR) and missing not at random (MNAR). The authors found no important bias with levels of loss that varied from 5 to 60% when loss to follow-up was related to MCAR or MAR mechanisms. However, when observations were lost to follow-up based on a MNAR mechanism, the authors found seriously biased estimates of the odds ratios with low levels of loss to follow-up. Loss to follow-up in cohort studies rarely occurs randomly. Therefore, when planning a cohort study, one should assume that loss to follow-up is MNAR and attempt to achieve the maximum follow-up rate possible.
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Article
Objective To determine the role of associated developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) in intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) caused by cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs). Methods We analyzed patient registry data of 1,219 patients with cavernous malformations treated in our institution between 2003 and 2018. Patients with spinal and familial CCM and patients without complete MRI data were excluded. The impact of various variables on ICH as a mode of presentation was assessed with multivariate binary logistic regression analysis. Kaplan Meier/Cox regression analysis was performed to analyze cumulative 5-year-risk for (re)hemorrhage and to identify baseline predictors of this outcome. Results Seven hundred thirty-one patients with CCM were included. Multivariate logistic regression confirmed a statistically significant negative correlation with DVA (odds ratio [OR] 0.635 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.459–0.878]) and positive correlation with brainstem localization (OR 6.277 [95% CI 4.287–9.191]) with ICH as the mode of presentation. Among 731 patients, 76 experienced (re)hemorrhage during 2,338 person-years of follow-up. Overall cumulative 5-year risk was 24.1% (95% CI 21.1%–27.5%). Cox regression analysis revealed initial presentation with ICH (hazard ratio [HR] 8.0 [95% CI 3.549–18.122]) and brainstem localization (HR 2.9 [95% CI 1.756–4.765]) as independent baseline predictors of (re)hemorrhage. Presence of DVA added no independent prognostic information (HR 1.1 [95% CI 0.717–1.885]). Conclusion Patients with CCM with associated DVA are at lower risk to present with ICH. During untreated 5-year follow-up, they showed equal (re)hemorrhage risk compared to patients with CCM without DVA.
Article
Objectives Cerebral cavernous malformations (CMs) are benign vascular hamartomas of central nervous system. Although they are mostly asymptomatic, they may occasionally result in life-threatening complications leading to surgical treatment. The main goal is to evaluate the surgical outcomes of operated pediatric cerebral CMs in our clinic and compare our results with the literature. Patients and Methods The data of 29 pediatric patients who were operated for cerebral CMs in our clinic between 2007 and 2016 were collected. Results Of 29 patients, 13 were girls and 16 were boys, and the mean age at operation was 11.4 years (range from 2 to 17 years). Main symptoms at presentation were seizures (15 patients, 51.7%), headache (12 patients, 41.3%), and focal neurological deficits (4 patients, 13.7%). The frequency of haemorrhage in CMs was significantly higher in younger patients (p = 0.019). Total excision was achieved in all patients. The mean follow-up period was 27.3 months (range from 12 to 97 months). New neurological deficit following surgery occurred in 1 patient (3.4%) who completely recovered after 3 months. After surgery, 1 patient (3.4%) has become free of preoperative deficit; while the rest (27 patients) remained in preoperative neurological status. Of 15 patients presented with seizures preoperatively, 10 patients (66.6%) were seizure free (Engel Class 1), 4 (26.6%) were “almost seizure free” (Engel Class 2) and one (6.6%) experienced “worthwhile improvement” (Engel Class 3) at the last follow up visit. There was no mortality in our series. Conclusion Although management of cerebral CMs in childhood is controversial, total resection ensures good clinical outcome and seizure control. In addition, age can be a predisposing factor for haemorrhage.
Article
Objective: Despite the low annual risk of hemorrhage associated with a cavernous malformation (CM) (0.6%-1.1% per year), the risk of rehemorrhage rate and severity of neurologic deficits is significantly higher; therefore, we aimed to evaluate the rupture risk of CMs depending on various factors. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed medical records of all patients with CM admitted to our institution between 1999 and April 2016. Cavernoma volume, location of the lesion, existence of a developmental venous anomaly (DVA), number of cavernomas, and patient characteristics (sex, age, hypertension, and antithrombotic therapy) were assessed. Results: One hundred fifty-four patients with CM were included; 89 (58%) ruptured CMs were identified. In statistical univariable analysis, the existence of a DVA was significantly higher in the ruptured cavernoma group (p < 0.001; odds ratio [OR] 4.6). A multivariable analysis of all included independent risk factors designated young age (<45 years) (p < 0.05; OR 2.2), infratentorial location (p < 0.01; OR 2.9), and existence of a DVA (p < 0.0001; OR 4.7) with significantly higher risk of rupture in our patient cohort. A separate analysis of these anatomical locations, supratentorial vs infratentorial, indicated that the existence of a DVA (p < 0.01; OR 4.16) in ruptured supratentorial cases and CM volume (≥1 cm3) (p < 0.0001; OR 3.5) in ruptured infratentorial cases were significant independent predictors for hemorrhage. Conclusions: Young age (<45 years), infratentorial location, and the presence of a DVA are associated with a higher hemorrhage risk. CM volume (≥1 cm3) and the existence of a DVA were independently in accordance with the anatomical location high risk factors for CM rupture.
Article
OBJECTIVE Multiple cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are rare lesions that occur in sporadic or familial form. Depending on the disease form, the natural history and treatment of the lesions strongly vary. Molecular analysis of an underlying germline mutation ( CCM1–3 ) is the most sensitive screening method to distinguish between sporadic and familial cases. However, based on the different pathomechanisms that are believed to be involved in either form, significant distinctions in the CCM-associated cerebral venous angioarchitecture should be detectable. This has not been systematically studied. METHODS A consecutive series of 28 patients with multiple CCMs (681 total) diagnosed on 1.5-T MRI underwent genetic screening for CCM1–3 mutations and high-resolution susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) of the cerebral venous angioarchitecture with 7-T MRI. Imaging data were analyzed to examine the CCM-associated venous angioarchitecture. Results were correlated with findings of molecular analysis for CCM1–3 mutations. RESULTS Two different SWI patterns (sporadic and familial) were found. The presence of associated developmental venous anomalies correlated with negative screening for germline mutations (11 sporadic) in all cases. All patients with confirmed familial disease showed normal underlying venous angioarchitecture. Additionally, a very unusual case of a probable somatic mutation is presented. CONCLUSIONS The SWI results of the venous angioarchitecture of multiple CCMs correlate with sporadic or familial disease. These results are consistent with the theory that venous anomalies are causative for the sporadic form of multiple CCMs.
Article
Objective: To quantify the risk of a first or recurrent hemorrhage and the associated functional impairment in patients with sporadic solitary cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) and investigate the potential risk factors. Methods: We undertook an observational study (n=199) of consecutive patients with the diagnosis of a single, sporadic CCM using clinical and MRI follow-up to identify prospective hemorrhage events and associated functional impairment. We calculated the annual hemorrhage risk rates, cumulative risks and performed uni- and multivariate analysis to assess outcome predictors. Results: 199 adults were identified and 712.5 person-years of follow-up were analyzed. Overall annual rates of hemorrhage were 6.03%, 11.95% and 1.03% in the complete cohort, in those presenting with previous hemorrhage and in those without, respectively. The 5-year risk of hemorrhage was higher in those presenting with previous hemorrhage compared to those without (40.9% (95% CI 31.78 - 50.73) vs. 8.6% (3.97 - 16.95); p<0.0001) and in those with a brainstem-CCM compared to non-brainstem-CCM (51.6% (37.61 - 65.46) vs. 17.1% (4.55 - 32.04); p< 0.0001). In the multivariate analysis previous hemorrhage (odds ratio 7.18, 95% CI 1.8 - 28.11, p = 0.005), age <45 years (2.61, 1.03 - 6.61, p = 0.042) and brainstem location (7.44, 2.09 - 26.50, p = 0.002) increased the risk of hemorrhage. 30% of patients showed a moderate or severe disability associated with a CCM hemorrhage (5-year risk of "severe" hemorrhage 8.9% (95% CI 5.50 - 13.99)). Conclusions: This study provides an estimate of symptomatic hemorrhage risk and the associated disability in patients with sporadic solitary CCM and an investigation of risk factors.
Article
OBJECT Cerebral cavernous malformations (CMs) are a source of neurological morbidity from seizures and focal neurological deficits due to mass effect and hemorrhage. Although several natural history reports exist for adults with CMs, similar data for pediatric patients are limited. METHODS The authors reviewed hospital databases to identify children with CMs who had not been treated surgically and who had clinical and radiological follow-up. Annual hemorrhage rates were calculated in lesion-years, and risk factors were assessed using the Cox proportional hazards model. RESULTS In a cohort of 167 patients with 222 CMs, the mean patient age at the time of diagnosis was 10.1 years old (SD 6.0). Ninety patients (54%) were male. One hundred four patients (62%) presented with hemorrhage from at least 1 CM, 58 (35%) with seizures with or without CM hemorrhage, and 43 (26%) with incidental lesions. Twenty-five patients (15%) had multiple CMs, 17 (10%) had a family history of CMs, and 33 (20%) had radiologically apparent developmental venous anomalies (DVAs). The overall annual hemorrhage rate was 3.3%. Permanent neurological morbidity was 29% per hemorrhage, increasing to 45% for brainstem, thalamic, or basal ganglia CM and decreasing to 15% for supratentorial lobar or cerebellar lesions. The annual hemorrhage rate for incidental CMs was 0.5%; for hemorrhagic CMs, it was 11.3%, increasing to 18.2% within the first 3 years. Hemorrhage clustering within 3 years was statistically significant (HR 6.1, 95% CI 1.72–21.7, p = 0.005). On multivariate analysis, hemorrhagic presentation (HR 4.63, 95% CI 1.53–14.1, p = 0.007), brainstem location (HR 4.42, 95% CI 1.57–12.4, p = 0.005), and an associated radiologically apparent DVA (HR 2.91, 95% CI 1.04–8.09, p = 0.04) emerged as significant risk factors for hemorrhage, whereas age, sex, CM multiplicity, and CM family history did not. CONCLUSIONS Prior hemorrhage, brainstem location, and associated DVAs are significant risk factors for symptomatic hemorrhage in children with CMs. Hemorrhage clustering within the first 3 years of a bleed can occur, a potentially important factor in patient management and counseling.
Article
Object: The authors present a series of children with supratentorial lobar cavernous malformations (CMs). Current imaging and operative techniques along with long-term follow-up were incorporated to characterize the response to surgical treatment in this pediatric population. Methods: The senior author's operative experience was reviewed retrospectively along with a review of the Boston Children's Hospital database from 1997 to 2011 for children with supratentorial lobar CMs. Lobar CM was defined as having a supratentorial location but not involving the thalamus/hypothalamus or basal ganglia. Baseline patient demographics, pertinent radiographic findings, operative outcomes, and long-term results were evaluated and compared between patients managed operatively and those who were managed nonoperatively. Results: Of 238 CMs identified, 181 (76%) were lobar. Compared with patients managed with observation only, those selected for surgery were older (p = 0.03), more likely to have symptomatic lesions (p < 0.001), and had larger lesions (p < 0.001). Of the 83 CMs selected for surgery, 98% were completely resected. Over a total of 384.5 patient-years of follow-up after surgery (mean 4.6 years; median 2.7 years; range 0.1-22.3 years), there were no subsequent hemorrhages in any patient undergoing complete resection; 1 of the 2 incompletely resected lesions rebled during the follow-up period. Radiographically, there was 1 recurrence (1.2%) in a child with multiple CMs; there were no recurrences of completely resected single lesions. Of the 48 patients who presented with seizures (acute or chronic), 46 (96%) were seizure free at follow-up. The permanent neurological complication rate of surgery was 5%; these complications were limited to those patients whose lesions were in eloquent locations. Conclusions: Pediatric patients with symptomatic supratentorial lobar CMs are ideal candidates for surgery, for which there are high complete resection rates, rewarding long-term seizure outcomes, and low operative morbidity. Observation may be warranted in smaller asymptomatic lesions located within eloquent cortex.
Article
Object: Cavernous malformations (CMs) of the basal ganglia are relatively rare lesions that can lead to considerable neurological impairment because of their eloquent location. The authors reviewed the clinical course and surgical outcome of a series of children with basal ganglia CMs. Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed the operative experience of the senior author (R.M.S.) and the 1997-2011 database of Boston Children's Hospital for children with CM of the basal ganglia (which includes CM of the caudate and/or lentiform nucleus and excludes CM of the thalamus). They evaluated baseline demographics, presenting signs, operative outcomes, and condition at long-term follow-up visits and compared these characteristics among patients who underwent surgery and those who were observed. Results: Of 180 children with a diagnosis of CM, 11 (6%) had CM of the basal ganglia. The mean age at diagnosis was 9.3 years, and the male/female ratio was 1.8:1. Presenting signs were as follows: hemorrhage (8 children), incidental lesions (2), and seizures (1); 2 children had choreiform movement disorders. Treatment was observation or surgery. Observation was chosen for 5 children either because the lesions were asymptomatic (2 children) or because the risk for neurological dysfunction after attempted excision was believed to be high (3 children). These 5 children were observed over a combined total of 30.4 patient-years; none experienced neurological deterioration or symptomatic hemorrhage from their lesions. The other 6 children underwent microsurgical resection of the lesion because they were symptomatic from hemorrhage or increasing mass effect. All 6 of these children had hemorrhagic lesions, of which the smallest dimension was at least 1.5 cm. Of these 6 lesions, 5 were excised completely, and over a combined total of 46 patient-years of follow-up, no rebleeding or late neurological deterioration after surgery was reported. Conclusions: In this patient population, the natural history of small and asymptomatic CMs of the basal ganglia was benign. The children with large (> 1.5 cm) symptomatic lesions underwent excision; neurological impairment was apparently minimal, and no hemorrhage or neurological deterioration occurred later.
Article
We prospectively followed-up 32 pediatric patients with cerebral cavernomas (CCs) to better define surgical indications in this population. Three groups of patients were identified: (a) children with macrohemorrhage (21 patients, 65.6%), (b) children with localized or diffuse headache (6 patients, 18.8%) and (c) children with epilepsy (5 patients, 15.6%). Surgery was performed in 28 out of the 32 (87.5%) subjects. New transient post-operative neurological deficits were observed in two children. One child developed a post-operative hematoma. At a median follow-up of 4years (range 1–11years), 22 out of the 28 (78.6%) operated patients were in good conditions. All operated subjects with epilepsy were seizure-free. We confirm the high risk of macrohemorrhage in pediatric CCs. Surgery is mostly recommended in accessible cavernomas, except for small, asymptomatic deep-seated CCs or for punctuate lesions without bleeding signs. KeywordsCavernoma-Cerebral cavernous malformations-Hemorrhage-Pediatric neurosurgery
Article
Our goal was to describe the prospective risk and timing of symptomatic hemorrhage in a large cohort of followed patients with intracerebral cavernous malformations (ICMs). All patients between 1989 and 1999 with the radiographic diagnosis of intracerebral cavernous malformation were identified retrospectively. The records and radiographic data were reviewed, and follow-up after diagnosis was obtained. An incidence rate was used to calculate annual risk of symptomatic hemorrhage. Predictive factors for outcomes used univariate and multivariable analysis with p < 0.05. A total of 292 patients were identified (47.3%male) with 2,035 patient years of follow-up. Seventy-four patients presented with hemorrhage, 108 with symptoms not related to hemorrhage (seizure or focal deficit), and 110 as asymptomatic. The overall annual rate of hemorrhage in those presenting initially with hemorrhage, with symptoms not related to hemorrhage, or as an incidental finding was 6.19%, 2.18%, and 0.33%, respectively. Patients who presented initially with symptomatic hemorrhage (hazard ratio 5.14; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.54-10.4; p < 0.001) were at higher risk for future hemorrhage, and hemorrhage risk decreased with time. Male gender (hazard ratio 2.36; 95% CI 1.14-4.89; p = 0.02), and multiplicity of ICMs (hazard ratio 2.65; 95% CI 1.30-5.43; p = 0.01) also increased the risk of hemorrhage. The median time from first to second hemorrhage was 8 months. This study provides an estimate of prospective annual symptomatic hemorrhage risk in patients with ICMs stratified by initial presenting symptom. Prior hemorrhage, male gender, and multiplicity of ICMs may predict future hemorrhage. Hemorrhage risk decreases with time in those initially presenting with hemorrhage.
Article
This study was undertaken to define the age-related prevalence of cavernous malformations (CMs) in children and young adults undergoing intracranial imaging. In addition, the authors aim to clarify the natural history of CMs in young people, especially in those with incidentally discovered lesions. To identify those patients with CMs, the authors retrospectively reviewed the electronic medical records of 14,936 consecutive patients 25 years of age or younger who had undergone brain MR imaging. In patients with a CM, clinical and imaging data were collected. Patients with untreated cavernomas who had more than 6 months of clinical and MR imaging follow-up were included in a natural history analysis. The natural history analysis included 110 CMs in 56 patients with a 3.5-year mean clinical follow-up interval (199 patient-years and 361 cavernoma-years). In 92 patients (0.6%), 164 CMs were identified. The imaging prevalence of cavernomas increased with advancing age (p = 0.002). Multiple CMs occurred in 28 patients (30%), and 8 patients (9%) had a family history of multiple CMs. Fifty patients (54%) presented with symptoms related to the cavernoma, of whom 30 presented with hemorrhage (33%). Of the 164 cavernomas identified, 103 (63%) were considered incidental, asymptomatic lesions. Larger size was associated with acute symptomatic presentation (p = 0.0001). During the follow-up interval, 6 patients with 8 cavernomas developed 11 symptomatic hemorrhages after initial identification. Five of the patients who had a hemorrhage during the follow-up interval had initially presented with hemorrhage, while only 1 had presented incidentally. The hemorrhage rate for all patients in the natural history group was 1.6% per patient-year and 0.9% per cavernoma-year. The hemorrhage rate was 8.0% per patient-year in the symptomatic group versus 0.2% in the incidental group. Symptomatic hemorrhage after long-term follow-up was associated with initial acute presentation (p = 0.02). The imaging prevalence of CM increases with advancing age during childhood. Patients presenting without hemorrhage have a significantly lower risk of bleeding compared with those who present with acute neurological symptoms. Comparing this series of children to prior analyses of CM natural history in adults, the authors' data do not suggest a higher bleeding risk in younger patients.
Article
The aim of the present study was to describe the clinical features and to evaluate the surgical treatment outcomes of pediatric patients with cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM). We investigated 85 children (53 boys and 32 girls), aged from 6 months to 17.9 years with CCM. Seizures and symptomatic hemorrhages, which were the most frequent symptoms, occurred in 81 patients. Nine patients had a positive family history of CCM. Eighty patients underwent microsurgical treatment after strict operative indications were met. Neuronavigation, combined with intraoperative ultrasonography or functional MRI, was used for precise localization of the lesions. The principles of minimally invasive techniques were followed during surgery. A total of 89 lesions were removed in 80 patients, and there were no deaths. During their hospital stay, only nine patients suffered from postoperative seizures, which were controlled with medication. Postoperative neurological deficits improved in 27 patients, were unchanged in nine, and worsened in two. With the help of advanced neuroimaging, a satisfactory surgical outcome was achieved for 10 lesions located in eloquent brain areas and four lesions in the brain stem. A follow-up study of 66 patients showed that all of these patients remained seizure-free, and nine patients with postoperative neurological deficits gradually recovered. Microsurgical treatment should be performed early for pediatric patients with CCM. Accurate localization of the lesions and the use of minimally invasive techniques and functional MRI monitoring were the key features of the surgical procedures.
Article
Literature reports on the natural history of cerebral cavernous malformations (CMs) are numerous, with considerable variability in lesion epidemiology, hemorrhage rates, and risk factors for hemorrhage. In this review, the authors performed a meta-analysis of 11 natural history studies. The overall male-to-female ratio was 1:1, and the mean age at presentation was 30.6 years. Overall, 37% of patients presented with seizures, 36% with hemorrhage, 23% with headaches, 22% with focal neurological deficits, and 10% were asymptomatic. Some patients had more than one symptom. Seizure presentation was most prevalent among supratentorial CMs, while focal neurological deficits were common in patients with infratentorial CMs. By location, CMs were in the cerebral hemispheres (66%), brainstem (18%), basal ganglia or thalamus (8%), cerebellum (6%), and other (2.5% [combined supra- and infratentorial, callosal or insular]). Overall, 19% of patients harbored multiple intracranial CMs, and 9% had radiographically apparent associated developmental venous anomalies. An overall annual hemorrhage rate of 2.4% per patient-year (range 1.6%-3.1%) was identified across 3 studies. Prior hemorrhage and female sex were risk factors for bleeding, while CM size and multiplicity did not affect hemorrhage rates. Although not impacting the hemorrhage rate itself, deep location was a risk factor for increased clinical aggressiveness.
Article
Brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) are believed to compose 9% to 35% of all cerebral cavernous malformations, but these lesions have been reported in children in very limited numbers. To review surgical outcomes of pediatric patients with BSCMs treated at 1 institution. We retrospectively analyzed the course of 40 pediatric patients (19 males, 21 females; age range, 10 months to 18.9 years; mean, 12.3 years) who underwent surgery between 1984 and 2009. Age, sex, presenting symptoms, location of lesion, surgical approach, new postoperative deficits, Glasgow Outcome Scale score, recurrences, and resolution of baseline symptoms were recorded. Thirty-nine patients experienced hemorrhage before surgery. Lesion locations included the pons (n=22), midbrain (n=4), midbrain and thalamus (n=4), pontomesencephalic junction (n=3), medulla (n=3), pontomedullary junction (n=3), and cervicomedullary junction (n=1). Mean lesion size was 2.3 cm. Mean length of hospital stay was 10.7 days. The average clinical follow-up was 31.9 months in 36 patients with follow-up after discharge. At last follow-up, 5 patients had experienced symptoms and/or imaging consistent with rehemorrhage, either from a residual that enlarged or true recurrence (5.25% annual rebleed risk per patient after surgery); 2 required reoperation for further resection of cavernoma. Mean Glasgow Outcome Scale score was 4.2 on admission, 4.05 at discharge, and 4.5 at latest follow-up. Preoperative symptoms and deficits improved in 16 patients (40%). New neurological deficits developed in 19 patients (48%) and resolved in 9, leaving 10 patients (25%) with new permanent deficit. Compared with adults, pediatric patients with BCSMs tend to have larger lesions and higher rates of recurrence (regrowth of residual lesion). Given the greater life expectancy of children, surgical treatment seems warranted in those with surgically accessible lesions that have bled. Outcomes were similar to those in our adult series of patients with BSCMs.
Article
Cavernous malformations (CM) of the central nervous system are vascular malformations responsible for symptoms such as seizures, headache, and neurological deficits: 25% of cases already present in childhood. Retrospective study including all CMs of the central nervous system in childhood diagnosed in the period 1993-2008 in 3 paediatric hospitals in Switzerland, focusing on clinical manifestations, neuroimaging findings, treatment, and outcome. 20 children (13 females) were diagnosed with CM, with an average age at presentation of 8.5 years (range 7 months-16 years). 17/20 presented with acute haemorrhage, 9/17 with seizures, 5/17 with focal neurological symptoms, and 3/17 with severe headache only. Localisation was supratentorial in 15/20, infratentorial in 2/20, supra- and infratentorial in 2/20, and spinal in 1 child. Five children had multiple CMs. Treatment was conservative in 10 cases and surgery was indicated in 10: for acute haemorrhage in 5; recurrent bleeding in 3; and epilepsy in 2. Follow-up after diagnosis was 0.5 years-10 years (mean 4 years), revealing neurological sequelae in 6 patients. The CM increased in size in 2 cases with an increase in number also in 1 of these. We confirm that CMs in childhood mainly present with seizures, severe headache, or focal symptoms due to acute haemorrhage. During infancy they may appear as dynamic lesions increasing in size and/or number. The regular application of newer neuroimaging techniques such as susceptibility weighted imaging will detect more lesions but not necessarily resolve problems concerning optimum treatment.
Article
Cavernous malformations of the brain (CMs) cause intracranial hemorrhage, but its reported frequency varies, partly attributable to study design. To improve the validity of future research, we aimed to develop a robust definition of CM hemorrhage. We systematically reviewed the published literature (Ovid Medline and Embase to June 1, 2007) for definitions of CM hemorrhage used in studies of the untreated clinical course of >or=20 participants with CM(s), to inform the development of a consensus statement on the clinical and imaging features of CM hemorrhage at a scientific workshop of the Angioma Alliance. A systematic review of 1426 publications about CMs in humans, revealed 15 studies meeting our inclusion criteria. Although 14 (93%) studies provided a definition of CM hemorrhage, data were less complete on the confirmatory type(s) of imaging (87%), whether CM hemorrhage should be clinically symptomatic (73%), and whether hemorrhage had to extend outside the CM or not (47%). We define a CM hemorrhage as requiring acute or subacute onset symptoms (any of: headache, epileptic seizure, impaired consciousness, or new/worsened focal neurological deficit referable to the anatomic location of the CM) accompanied by radiological, pathological, surgical, or rarely only cerebrospinal fluid evidence of recent extra- or intralesional hemorrhage. The definition includes neither an increase in CM diameter without other evidence of recent hemorrhage, nor the existence of a hemosiderin halo. A consistent approach to clinical and brain imaging classification of CM hemorrhage will improve the external validity of future CM research.
Article
Pediatric CNS cavernomas still are diagnostically and therapeutically challenging lesions. With the help of magnetic resonance imaging, the natural history of cavernomas now guiding therapeutic strategies is well documented in adults but remains poorly known in the pediatric age group, since most previous studies dealt with adult and pediatric patients together. This paper focuses on clinical, imaging, and therapeutic features and differential diagnosis of CNS cavernomas with an emphasis on their specificities in the pediatric age group. It is based upon a critical review of the literature and our single-center experience with 36 children (35 with cerebral cavernomas and one with spinal cord cavernoma) operated on during the period of 1985-1999 as well as with seven additional unoperated pediatric cases. Our experience resembles that of other authors regarding the high hemorrhagic risk in children compared to adults. These angiographically occult vascular malformations are often revealed by the sudden onset of intracerebral hematoma with acute focal neurologic deficits, concomitant manifestations, and/or signs of raised intracranial pressure. True epilepsy is less common and may be related to chronic or recurrent microbleeding. Evocative imaging findings are also somewhat different in the two age groups, and we propose here an imaging classification of cerebral cavernomas based on both morphological and signal characteristics that is applicable to the pediatric age group. A sharply demarcated spherical intracerebral hematoma or heterogeneous lesion should always make one consider the hypothesis of a cavernoma. For symptomatic lesions and most rapidly growing asymptomatic lesions, the treatment of choice is complete microsurgical excision preceded by careful anatomical and functional evaluation. Improvements in surgical techniques and anesthesiology over recent years have brought good results in most operated children. The limited role of radiosurgery in the management of pediatric cerebral cavernomas is discussed. There is still a need for well-conducted specific evaluation of the natural history of these lesions in the pediatric age group to aid in systematic research, follow-up, and therapeutic strategies for asymptomatic cavernomas.
Transparent Reporting of a multivariable prediction model for Individual Prognosis or Diagnosis (TRIPOD): the TRIPOD statement
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Correlation of the venous angioarchitecture of multiple cerebral cavernous malformations with familial or sporadic disease: a susceptibility-weighted imaging study with 7-Tesla MRI
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