A combination of embolization and radiosurgery is used as a common strategy for the treatment of large and complex cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). This study presents the experiences of partially embolized cerebral AVMs followed by Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) and assesses predictive factors for AVM obliteration and hemorrhage.
The interventional neuroradiology database that was reviewed included 404 patients who underwent AVM embolization. Using this database, the authors retrospectively analyzed all partially embolized AVM cases followed by GKS for a residual nidus. Except for cases of complete AVM obliteration, the authors excluded all patients with radiological follow-up of less than 2 years. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the predictive factors related to AVM obliteration and hemorrhage following GKS. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to evaluate the obliteration with a cutoff AVM nidus volume of 3 cm3 and 10 cm3.
One hundred sixty-two patients qualified for the study. The median patient age was 26 years and 48.8% were female. Hemorrhage presented as the most common symptom (48.1%). The median preembolization volume of an AVM was 14.3 cm3. The median volume and margin dose for GKS were 10.92 cm3 and 16.0 Gy, respectively. The median radiological and clinical follow-up intervals were 47 and 79 months, respectively. The annual hemorrhage rate was 1.71% and total obliteration rate was 56.8%. Noneloquent area (p = 0.004), superficial location (p < 0.001), decreased volume (p < 0.001), lower Spetzler-Martin grade (p < 0.001), lower Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (RAS; p < 0.001), lower Pollock-Flickinger score (p < 0.001), lower modified Pollock-Flickinger score (p < 0.001), increased maximum dose (p < 0.001), and increased margin dose (p < 0.001) were found to be statistically significant in predicting the probability of AVM obliteration in the univariate analysis. In the multivariate analysis, only volume (p = 0.016) was found to be an independent prognostic factor for AVM obliteration. The log-rank (Mantel-Cox) test of the Kaplan-Meier analysis (chi-square = 54.402, p < 0.001) showed a significantly decreased obliteration rate of different cutoff AVM volume groups of less than 3 cm3, 3–10 cm3, and more than 10 cm3. No independent prognostic factor was found for AVM hemorrhage in multivariate analysis.
Partially embolized AVMs are amenable to successful treatment with GKS. The volume of the nidus significantly influences the outcome of radiosurgical treatment. The Virginia RAS and Pollock-Flickinger score were found to be reliable scoring systems for selection of patient candidates and prediction of partially embolized AVM closure and complications for GKS.
Correspondence Youxiang Li, Beijing Neurosurgical Institute, No. 6, Tiantan Xili, Chongwen, Beijing 100050, China. email: email@example.com.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online August 7, 2015; DOI: 10.3171/2015.1.JNS142711.Disclosure This project was supported by the Capital Medical Development Research Foundation.
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