Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a treatment option for pediatric brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and early obliteration could encourage SRS utilization for a subset of particularly radiosensitive lesions. The objective of this study was to determine predictors of early obliteration after SRS for pediatric AVMs.
The authors performed a retrospective review of the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation AVM database. Obliterated pediatric AVMs were sorted into early (obliteration ≤ 24 months after SRS) and late (obliteration > 24 months after SRS) responders. Predictors of early obliteration were identified, and the outcomes of each group were compared.
The overall study cohort was composed of 345 pediatric patients with obliterated AVMs. The early and late obliteration cohorts were made up of 95 (28%) and 250 (72%) patients, respectively. Independent predictors of early obliteration were female sex, a single SRS treatment, a higher margin dose, a higher isodose line, a deep AVM location, and a smaller AVM volume. The crude rate of post-SRS hemorrhage was 50% lower in the early (3.2%) than in the late (6.4%) obliteration cohorts, but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.248). The other outcomes of the early versus late obliteration cohorts were similar, with respect to symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs), cyst formation, and tumor formation.
Approximately one-quarter of pediatric AVMs that become obliterated after SRS will achieve this radiological endpoint within 24 months of initial SRS. The authors identified multiple factors associated with early obliteration, which may aid in prognostication and management. The overall risks of delayed hemorrhage, RICs, cyst formation, and tumor formation were not statistically different in patients with early versus late obliteration.