Matthew J. Koch, Christopher J. Stapleton, Pankaj K. Agarwalla, Collin Torok, John H. Shin, Jean-Valery Coumans, Lawrence F. Borges, Christopher S. Ogilvy, James D. Rabinov and Aman B. Patel
Vascular malformations of the spine represent rare clinical entities with profound neurological implications. Previously reported studies on management strategies for spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (sDAVFs) appeared before the advent of modern liquid embolic agents. Authors of the present study review their institutional experience with endovascularly and surgically treated sDAVFs.
The authors performed a retrospective, observational, single-center case series on sDAVFs treated with endovascular embolization, microsurgical occlusion, or both between 2004 and 2013. The mode, efficacy, and clinical effect of treatment were evaluated.
Forty-seven patients with spinal arteriovenous malformations were evaluated using spinal angiography, which demonstrated 34 Type I sDAVFs (thoracic 20, lumbar 12, and cervical 2). Twenty-nine of the patients (85%) were male, and the median patient age was 63.3 years. Twenty patients underwent primary endovascular embolization (16 Onyx, 4 N-butyl cyanoacrylate [NBCA]), and 14 underwent primary surgical clipping. At a mean follow-up of 36 weeks, according to angiography or MR angiography, 5 patients treated with endovascular embolization demonstrated persistent arteriovenous shunting, whereas none of the surgically treated patients showed lesion persistence (p = 0.0237). Thirty patients (88%) experienced some resolution of their presenting symptoms (embolization 17 [85%], surgery 13 [93%], p = 1.00).
Microsurgical occlusion remains the most definitive treatment modality for sDAVFs, though modern endovascular techniques remain a viable option for the initial treatment of anatomically amenable lesions. Treatment of these lesions usually results in some clinical improvement.
Benjamin Pulli, Paul H. Chapman, Christopher S. Ogilvy, Aman B. Patel, Christopher J. Stapleton, Thabele M. Leslie-Mazwi, Joshua A. Hirsch, Bob S. Carter and James D. Rabinov
Curative treatment of unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains controversial after the only randomized controlled trial, A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations (ARUBA), was halted prematurely because interim analysis revealed superiority of the medical management group. In contrast, meta-analyses of retrospective cohorts suggest that intervention is much safer than was found in ARUBA.
The authors retrospectively analyzed 318 consecutive adult patients with brain AVMs treated at their institution with embolization, surgery, and/or proton beam radiosurgery. Analysis was performed in 142 ARUBA-eligible patients (baseline modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0–1, no history of hemorrhage), and results were compared to primary and secondary outcomes from ARUBA, as well as to natural history cohorts.
The annualized stroke rate (hemorrhagic or ischemic) in this cohort was 1.8%, 4.9% in the first 12 months and 0.8% after the first 12 months, which was lower than in natural history studies and the ARUBA medical management arm (p = 0.001). The primary ARUBA endpoint of symptomatic stroke was reached in 13 patients (9.2%), which compares favorably to the ARUBA intervention arm (39.6%, p = 0.0001) and is similar to the ARUBA medical management arm (9.2%, p = 1.0). The secondary ARUBA endpoint (mRS score ≥ 2 at 5 years of follow-up) was reached in 14.3% of patients, compared to 40.5% in the ARUBA intervention arm (p = 0.002) and 16.7% in the ARUBA medical management arm (p = 0.6).
This multimodal approach to the selection and treatment of patients with brain AVMs yields good clinical outcomes with key safety endpoints (stroke, death, and mRS score 0–1) better than the ARUBA intervention arm and similar to the ARUBA medical arm at 5 years of follow-up. Results compare favorably to natural history cohorts at longer follow-up times. This suggests that tertiary care centers with integrated programs, expertise in patient selection, and individualized treatment approaches may allow for better clinical outcomes than reported in ARUBA. It supports current registry studies and merits consideration of future randomized controlled trials in patients with brain AVMs.