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  • Author or Editor: Arthur L. Day x
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Bradley A. Gross, Rose Du, A. John Popp and Arthur L. Day

Although originally the subject of rare case reports, intramedullary spinal cord cavernous malformations (CMs) have recently surfaced in an increasing number of case series and natural history reports in the literature. The authors reviewed 27 publications with 352 patients to consolidate modern epidemiological, natural history, and clinical and surgical data to facilitate decision making when managing these challenging vascular malformations. The mean age at presentation was 42 years without a sex predilection. Thirty-eight percent of the cases were cervical, 57% thoracic, 4% lumbar, and 1% unspecified location. Nine percent of the patients had a family history of CNS CMs. Twenty-seven percent of the patients had an associated cranial CM. On presentation 63% of the patients had motor deficits, 65% had sensory deficits, 27% had pain, and 11% had bowel or bladder dysfunction. Presentation was acute in 30%, recurrent in 16%, and progressive in 54% of cases. An overall annual hemorrhage rate was calculated as 2.5% for 92 patients followed up for a total of 2571 patient-years. Across 24 reviewed surgical series, a 91% complete resection rate was found. Transient morbidity was seen in 36% of cases. Sixty-one percent of patients improved, 27% were unchanged, and 12% were worse at the long-term follow-up. Using this information, the authors review surgical nuances in treating these lesions and propose a management algorithm.