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  • Author or Editor: Michael Kerin Morgan x
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Michael Kerin Morgan, Nirav J. Patel, Mary Simons, Elizabeth Anne Ritson and Gillian Z. Heller


Case reports suggest that young age is a critical factor in determining recurrence of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) after surgery. However, other factors that may contribute to the increased risk of recurrence have not been considered. In this study, the authors' goal was to ascertain the risk and risk factors of recurrence after resection of AVMs of the brain.


A consecutive case series (prospectively collected data) of 600 cases of resection of brain AVMs was retrospectively analyzed. Radiological evidence of recurrence or nonrecurrence, as well as clinical evidence of recurrence, could be established in 427 of these cases that underwent follow-up for more than 350 days after initial surgery. These cases were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression with respect to age and the presence of deep venous drainage.


Nine recurrent AVMs were found in 8 patients. By analysis of the Kaplan-Meier curves, the 10-year recurrence rate was 14% for those with deep venous drainage, compared with 4% for those without deep venous drainage. Stratifying by age, in the 0- to 20-year age group, the 10-year recurrence rates were 63% and 13% for those with and without deep venous drainage, respectively. In the 20- to 39-year age group, the rates were 5% and 0% respectively, and in the 40-year and older age group they were 0% and 3%, respectively. The hazard ratio for deep venous drainage, adjusted for age, was 5.97 (95% CI 1.20–29.69, p = 0.029).


The risk of recurrence after AVM resection is significant for young patients with deep venous drainage.

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Michael Kerin Morgan, Markus Karl Hermann Wiedmann, Nazih N. A. Assaad, Michael J. A. Parr and Gillian Z. Heller


The aim of this study was to examine the impact of deliberate employment of postoperative hypotension on delayed postoperative hemorrhage (DPH) for all Spetzler-Ponce Class (SPC) C brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) and SPC B bAVMs ≥ 3.5 cm in diameter (SPC B 3.5+).


A protocol of deliberate employment of postoperative hypotension was introduced in June 1997 for all SPC C and SPC B 3.5+ bAVMs. The aim was to achieve a maximum mean arterial blood pressure (BP) ≤ 70 mm Hg (with cerebral perfusion pressure > 50 mm Hg) for a minimum of 7 days after resection of bAVMs (BP protocol). The authors compared patients who experienced DPH (defined as brain hemorrhage into the resection bed that resulted in a new neurological deficit or that resulted in reoperation during the hospitalization for microsurgical bAVM resection) between 2 periods (prior to adopting the BP protocol and after introduction of the BP protocol) and 4 bAVM categories (SPC A, SPC B 3.5− [that is, SPC B < 3.5 cm maximum diameter], SPC B 3.5+, and SPC C). Patients excluded from treatment by the BP protocol were managed in the intensive care unit to avoid moderate hypertensive episodes. The pooled cases of all bAVM treated by surgery were analyzed to identify characteristics associated with the risk of DPH. These identified characteristics were then examined by multiple logistic regression analysis in both SPC B 3.5+ and SPC C cases.


From a cohort of 641 bAVMs treated by microsurgery, 32 patients with DPH were identified. Of those, 66% (95% CI 48–80) had a permanent new neurological deficit with a modified Rankin Scale score of 2–6. This included a mortality rate of 13% (95% CI 4.4–29). The BP protocol was used to treat 162 patients with either SPC B 3.5+ or SPC C. For SPC B 3.5+, there was no significant reduction in DPH with the introduction of the BP protocol (p = 0.77). For SPC C, there was a significant (p = 0.035) reduction of DPH from 29% (95% CI 13%–53%) to 8.2% (95% CI 3.2%–18%) associated with the introduction of the BP protocol. Multiple logistic regression analysis found that the absence of the BP protocol (p = 0.011, odds ratio 7.5, 95% CI 1.6–36) remained significant for the development of DPH in patients with SPC C bAVMs.


Treating patients with SPC C bAVMs with a protocol that lowers BP immediately after resection seems to reduce the risk of DPH. For SPC A and SPC B 3.5− bAVMs, there is unlikely to be a need to do more than avoid postoperative hypertension. For SPC B 3.5+ bAVMs, a larger number of patients would be required to test the absence of benefit of the BP protocol.