Rupture of brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is the main etiology of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in children. Ensuing intracranial hypertension is among the modifiable prognosis factors and sometimes requires emergency hemorrhage evacuation (HE). The authors aimed to analyze variables associated with HE in children with ruptured AVM.
This study was a single-center retrospective analysis of children treated for ruptured AVM. The authors evaluated the occurrence of HE, its association with other acute surgical procedures (e.g., nidal excision, decompressive hemicraniectomy), and clinical outcome. Variables associated with each intervention were analyzed using univariable and multivariable models. Clinical outcome was assessed at 18 months using the ordinal King’s Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury.
A total of 104 patients were treated for 112 episodes of ruptured AVM between 2002 and 2018. In the 51 children (45.5% of cases) who underwent HE, 37 procedures were performed early (i.e., within 24 hours after initial cerebral imaging) and 14 late. Determinants of HE were a lower initial Glasgow Coma Scale score (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.83, 95% CI 0.71–0.97 per point increase); higher ICH/brain volume ratio (aOR 18.6, 95% CI 13–26.5 per percent increase); superficial AVM location; and the presence of a brain herniation (aOR 3.7, 95% CI 1.3–10.4). Concurrent nidal surgery was acutely performed in 69% of Spetzler-Martin grade I–II ruptured AVMs and in 25% of Spetzler-Martin grade III lesions. Factors associated with nidal surgery were superficial AVMs, late HE, and absent alteration of consciousness at presentation. Only 8 cases required additional surgery due to intracranial hypertension. At 18 months, overall mortality was less than 4%, 58% of patients had a favorable outcome regardless of surgical intervention, and 87% were functioning independently.
HE is a lifesaving procedure performed in approximately half of the children who suffer AVM rupture. The good overall outcome justifies intensive initial management.