Cerebral proliferative angiopathy (CPA) is considered a discrete vascular malformation of the brain separate from classical brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). It has unique angiographic characteristics and has been hypothesized to result from chronic cortical ischemia and perinidal oligemia. Treatment with cerebral revascularization has been proposed in an attempt to disrupt regional hypoperfusion and interrupt the angiogenesis that defines CPA. A systematic review of the literature pertaining to the role of cerebral revascularization may highlight a treatment paradigm for this rare disease.
A systematic review was performed in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. MEDLINE and Embase were searched from inception for papers relating to CPA. Included articles were categorized according to methodology (case series or imaging study) and treatment modality (conservative, radiation, endovascular, or revascularization). A synthesis was compiled summarizing the current evidence regarding cerebral revascularization in CPA.
The initial search revealed 43 articles, of which 28 studies met the inclusion criteria. Nine studies were identified that described imaging findings, which suggested hemodynamic dysregulation and perinidal impairments in the cerebrovascular reserve could be identified compared to unaffected hemispheres and classical brain AVMs. Six studies including 7 patients undergoing indirect forms of cerebral revascularization were identified. Clinical and radiological outcomes following revascularization were favorable in all but one study.
A small body of radiological and clinical studies has emerged, suggesting that CPA is a response to perinidal oligemia. While the long-term clinical efficacy of revascularization remains unclear, early results suggest that this may be a novel treatment paradigm for patients with CPA.