Long-term outcomes of pediatric arteriovenous malformations: the 30-year Pittsburgh experience

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  • 1 Division of Neurological Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh;
  • 2 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and
  • 3 Department of Neurological Surgery, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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OBJECTIVE

The study of pediatric arteriovenous malformations (pAVMs) is complicated by the rarity of the entity. Treatment choice has often been affected by the availability of different modalities and the experience of the providers present. The University of Pittsburgh experience of multimodality treatment of pAVMs is presented.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study examining 212 patients with pAVM presenting to the University of Pittsburgh between 1988 and 2018, during which patients had access to surgical, endovascular, and radiosurgical options. Univariate analysis was performed comparing good and poor outcomes. A poor outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of ≥ 3. Multivariate analysis via logistic regression was performed on appropriate variables with a p value of ≤ 0.2. Seventy-five percent of the cohort had at least 3 years of follow-up.

RESULTS

Five patients (2.4%) did not receive any intervention, 131 (61.8%) had GKRS alone, 14 (6.6%) had craniotomies alone, and 2 (0.9%) had embolization alone. Twenty-two (10.4%) had embolization and Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS); 20 (9.4%) had craniotomies and GKRS; 8 (3.8%) had embolization and craniotomies; and 10 (4.7%) had embolization, craniotomies, and GKRS. Thirty-one patients (14.6%) were found to have poor outcome on follow-up. The multivariate analysis performed in patients with poor outcomes was notable for associations with no treatment (OR 18.9, p = 0.02), hemorrhage requiring craniotomy for decompression alone (OR 6, p = 0.03), preoperative mRS score (OR 2.1, p = 0.004), and Spetzler-Martin score (OR 1.8, p = 0.0005). The mean follow-up was 79.7 ± 62.1 months. The confirmed radiographic obliteration rate was 79.4% and there were 5 recurrences found on average 9.5 years after treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

High rates of long-term functional independence (mRS score of ≤ 2) can be achieved with comprehensive multimodality treatment of pAVMs. At this center there was no difference in outcome based on treatment choice when accounting for factors such as Spetzler-Martin grade and presenting morbidity. Recurrences are rare but frequently occur years after treatment, emphasizing the need for long-term screening after obliteration.

ABBREVIATIONS GKRS = Gamma Knife radiosurgery; mRS = modified Rankin Scale; pAVM = pediatric arteriovenous malformation.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Michael M. McDowell: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA. mcdowellmm2@upmc.edu.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online May 15, 2020; DOI: 10.3171/2020.3.PEDS19614.

Disclosures Dr. Agarwal receives royalties from Thieme Medical Publishers. Dr. Lunsford is a consultant for Insightec and DSMB, and he has direct stock ownership in Elekta.

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