Object. The authors sought to establish prospectively whether there is a simple relationship between radiological features of brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) hemodynamics and a patient's clinical presentation.
Methods. Thirty-one consecutive patients with AVMs underwent cerebral angiography at 3.8 frames/second during each standardized injection of contrast material. Contrast dilution curves were derived from the image sequences by using regions of interest (ROIs) traced on arteries feeding and veins draining the AVM nidus. Angiographic parameters were then analyzed in a blinded fashion. These parameters included the times required to reach the peak contrast density, the contrast decay time, and fractions thereof, in the ROI for each vessel. The authors determined whether these parameters, the arteriovenous transit time, and/or AVM size were related to patients' presentation with hemorrhage (11 patients), seizure (11 patients), or other clinical symptoms (nine patients). Statistically significant results were found only in analyses of arterial phase times to reach peak contrast density. Analyses of venous parameters, AVM size, and nidus transit time showed trends but no statistical significance. Arterial filling with contrast material was significantly slower in patients presenting with hemorrhage (mean 50%, 80%, and 100% of time to peak ± standard error [SE] = 1.19 ± 0.13, 1.97 ± 0.18, and 3.04 ± 0.34 seconds, respectively) compared with patients presenting with seizures (mean 50%, 80%, and 100% of time to peak ± SE = 0.80 ± 0.12, 1.32 ± 0.18, and 1.95 ± 0.29 seconds, respectively) according to analysis of variance (p < 0.05) and post-hoc t-tests (p < 0.05) for each parameter. Patients who presented with other symptoms had intermediate arterial filling times.
Conclusions. These simple hemodynamic parameters, which can be obtained without added risk to the patient, may help identify a subset of individuals in whom AVMs pose a higher risk of future hemorrhage and who may therefore warrant more expeditious treatment.