Venkatesh S. Madhugiri, Mario K. C. Teo, Joli Vavao, Teresa Bell-Stephens and Gary K. Steinberg
Brainstem arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are rare lesions that are difficult to diagnose and treat. They are often more aggressive in their behavior when compared with their supratentorial counterparts. The consequence of a brainstem hemorrhage is often devastating, and many patients are in poor neurological status at presentation. The authors examine the factors associated with angiographically confirmed cure and those affecting management outcomes for these complex lesions.
This was a retrospective analysis of data gathered from the prospectively maintained Stanford AVM database. Lesions were grouped based on their location in the brainstem (medulla, pons, or midbrain) and the quadrant they occupied. Angiographic cure was dichotomized as completely obliterated or not, and functional outcome was dichotomized as either independent or not independent at last follow-up.
Over a 23-year period, 39 lesions were treated. Of these, 3 were located in the medulla, 14 in the pons, and 22 in the midbrain. At presentation, 92% of the patients had hemorrhage, and only 43.6% were functionally independent. Surgery resulted in the best radiographic cure rates, with a morbidity rate of 12.5%. In all, 53% of patients either improved or remained stable after surgery. Absence of residual nidus and female sex correlated with better outcomes.
Brainstem AVMs usually present with hemorrhage. Surgery offers the best chance of cure, either in isolation or in combination with other modalities as appropriate.
Mario K. Teo, Venkatesh S. Madhugiri and Gary K. Steinberg
Venkatesh S. Madhugiri, Mario K. C. Teo, Erick M. Westbroek, Steven D. Chang, Michael P. Marks, Huy M. Do, Richard P. Levy and Gary K. Steinberg
Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the basal ganglia and thalamus are particularly difficult lesions to treat, accounting for 3%–13% of all AVMs in surgical series and 23%–44% of malformations in radiosurgery series. The goal of this study was to report the results of multimodal management of basal ganglia and thalamic AVMs and investigate the factors that influence radiographic cure and good clinical outcomes.
This study was a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database of all patients treated at the authors’ institution. Clinical, radiological, follow-up, and outcome data were analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to explore the influence of various factors on outcome.
The results and data analysis pertaining to 123 patients treated over 32 years are presented. In this cohort, radiographic cure was achieved in 50.9% of the patients. Seventy-five percent of patients had good clinical outcomes (stable or improved performance scores), whereas 25% worsened after treatment. Inclusion of surgery and radiosurgery independently predicted obliteration, whereas nidus diameter and volume predicted clinical outcomes. Nidus volume/diameter and inclusion of surgery predicted the optimal outcome, i.e., good clinical outcomes with lesion obliteration.
Good outcomes are possible with multimodal treatment in these complex patients. Increasing size and, by extension, higher Spetzler-Martin grade are associated with worse outcomes. Inclusion of multiple modalities of treatment as indicated could improve the chances of radiographic cure and good outcomes.