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  • Author or Editor: Richard P. Levy x
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Lewis L. Levy, Ludwig H. Segerberg, Richard P. Schmidt, Richard C. Turrell and Ephraim Roseman

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Gary K. Steinberg, Steven D. Chang, Richard P. Levy, Michael P. Marks, Ken Frankel and Mary Marcellus

✓ Although radiosurgery is effective in obliterating small arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), it has a lower success rate for thrombosing larger AVMs. The authors surgically resected AVMs from 33 patients ranging in age from 7 to 64 years (mean 30.4 years) 1 to 11 years after radiosurgery. Initial AVM volumes were 0.8 to 117 cm3 (mean 21.6 cm3), and doses ranged from 4.6 to 45 GyE (mean 21.2 GyE). Of 27 AVMs in eloquent or critical areas, 10 were located in language, motor, sensory, or visual cortex, 11 in the basal ganglia/thalamus, one each in the brainstem, hypothalamus, and cerebellum, and three in the corpus callosum. Venous drainage was deep in 13, superficial in 12, or both in eight lesions. Spetzler—Martin grades were II in one, III in 12, IV in 16, and V in four patients. Eight patients experienced rebleeding after radiosurgery but prior to surgery. Three patients developed radiation necrosis and 25 underwent endovascular embolization prior to surgery.

At surgery the AVMs were found to be markedly less vascular, partially thrombosed, and more easily resected, compared to those seen in patients who had not undergone radiosurgery. Pathological investigation showed endothelial proliferation with hyaline and calcium in vessel walls. There was partial or complete thrombosis of some AVM vessels and evidence of vessel and brain necrosis in many cases. Complete resection was achieved in 28 patients and partial resection in five. Clinical outcome was excellent or good in 31 cases, and two patients died of rebleeding from residual AVM. Four patients' conditions worsened following microsurgical resection. Final clinical outcome was largely related to the pretreatment grade. Radiosurgery several years prior to open microsurgery may prove to be a useful adjunct in treating unusually large and complex AVMs.

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Ian G. Fleetwood, Mary L. Marcellus, Richard P. Levy, Michael P. Marks and Gary K. Steinberg

Object. Patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in a deep location and with deep venous drainage are thought to be at higher risk for hemorrhage than those with AVMs in other locations. Despite this, the natural history of AVMs of the basal ganglia and thalamus has not been well studied.

Methods. The authors retrospectively evaluated a cohort of 96 patients with AVMs in the basal ganglia and thalamus with respect to the tendency of these lesions to hemorrhage between the time of detection and their eventual successful management.

The 96 patients studied had a mean age of 22.7 years at diagnosis, and 51% were male. Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) was the event leading to clinical detection in 69 patients (71.9%), and 85.5% of these patients were left with hemiparesis. After diagnosis, 25 patients bled a total of 49 times. The cumulative clinical follow up after detection but before surgical management was 500.2 patient-years. The risk of hemorrhage after detection of an AVM of the basal ganglia or thalamus was 9.8% per patient-year.

Conclusions. The rate of ICH in patients with AVMs of the basal ganglia or thalamus (9.8%/year) is much higher than the rate in patients with AVMs in other locations (2–4%/year). The risk of incurring a neurological deficit with each hemorrhagic event is high. Treatment of these patients at specialized centers is recommended to prevent neurological injury from a spontaneous ICH.

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Paritosh Pandey, Michael P. Marks, Ciara D. Harraher, Erick M. Westbroek, Steven D. Chang, Huy M. Do, Richard P. Levy, Robert L. Dodd and Gary K. Steinberg

Object

Grade III arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are diverse because of their variations in size (S), location in eloquent cortex (E), and presence of central venous drainage (V). Because they may have implications for management and outcome, the authors evaluated these variations in the present study.

Methods

Between 1984 and 2010, 100 patients with Grade III AVMs were treated. The AVMs were categorized by Spetzler-Martin characteristics as follows: Type 1 = S1E1V1, Type 2 = S2E1V0, Type 3 = S2E0V1, and Type 4 = S3E0V0. The occurrence of a new neurological deficit, functional status (based on modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score) at discharge and follow-up, and radiological obliteration were correlated with demographic and morphological characteristics.

Results

One hundred patients (49 female and 51 male; age range 5–68 years, mean 35.8 years) were evaluated. The size of AVMs was less than 3 cm in 28 patients, 3–6 cm in 71, and greater than 6 cm in 1; 86 AVMs were located in eloquent cortex and 38 had central drainage. The AVMs were Type 1 in 28 cases, Type 2 in 60, Type 3 in 11, and Type 4 in 1. The authors performed embolization in 77 patients (175 procedures), surgery in 64 patients (74 surgeries), and radiosurgery in 49 patients (44 primary and 5 postoperative).

The mortality rate following the management of these AVMs was 1%. Fourteen patients (14%) had new neurological deficits, with 5 (5%) being disabling (mRS score > 2) and 9 (9%) being nondisabling (mRS score ≤ 2) events. Patients with Type 1 AVMs (small size) had the best outcome, with 1 (3.6%) in 28 having a new neurological deficit, compared with 72 patients with larger AVMs, of whom 13 (18.1%) had a new neurological deficit (p < 0.002). Older age (> 40 years), malformation size > 3 cm, and nonhemorrhagic presentation predicted the occurrence of new deficits (p < 0.002). Sex, eloquent cortex, and venous drainage did not confer any benefit.

In 89 cases follow-up was adequate for data to be included in the obliteration analysis. The AVM was obliterated in 78 patients (87.6%), 69 of them (88.5%) demonstrated on angiography and 9 on MRI /MR angiography. There was no difference between obliteration rates between different types of AVMs, size, eloquence, and drainage. Age, sex, and clinical presentation also did not predict obliteration.

Conclusions

Multimodality management of Grade III AVMs results in a high rate of obliteration, which was not influenced by size, venous drainage, or eloquent location. However, the development of new neurological deficits did correlate with size, whereas eloquence and venous drainage did not affect the neurological complication rate. The authors propose subclassifying the Grade III AVMs according to their size (< 3 and ≥ 3 cm) to account for treatment risk.

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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

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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Michael E. Kelly, Raphael Guzman, John Sinclair, Teresa E. Bell-Stephens, Regina Bower, Scott Hamilton, Michael P. Marks, Huy M. Do, Steven D. Chang, John R. Adler, Richard P. Levy and Gary K. Steinberg

Object

Posterior fossa arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are relatively uncommon and often difficult to treat. The authors present their experience with multimodality treatment of 76 posterior fossa AVMs, with an emphasis on Spetzler–Martin Grades III–V AVMs.

Methods

Seventy-six patients with posterior fossa AVMs treated with radiosurgery, surgery, and endovascular techniques were analyzed.

Results

Between 1982 and 2006, 36 patients with cerebellar AVMs, 33 with brainstem AVMs, and 7 with combined cerebellar–brainstem AVMs were treated. Natural history data were calculated for all 76 patients. The risk of hemorrhage from presentation until initial treatment was 8.4% per year, and it was 9.6% per year after treatment and before obliteration. Forty-eight patients had Grades III–V AVMs with a mean follow-up of 4.8 years (range 0.1–18.4 years, median 3.1 years). Fifty-two percent of patients with Grades III–V AVMs had complete obliteration at the last follow-up visit. Three (21.4%) of 14 patients were cured with a single radiosurgery treatment, and 4 (28.6%) of 14 with 1 or 2 radiosurgery treatments. Twenty-one (61.8%) of 34 patients were cured with multimodality treatment. The mean Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score after treatment was 3.8. Multivariate analysis performed in the 48 patients with Grades III–V AVMs showed radiosurgery alone to be a negative predictor of cure (p = 0.0047). Radiosurgery treatment alone was not a positive predictor of excellent clinical outcome (GOS Score 5; p > 0.05). Nine (18.8%) of 48 patients had major neurological complications related to treatment.

Conclusions

Single-treatment radiosurgery has a low cure rate for posterior fossa Spetzler–Martin Grades III–V AVMs. Multimodality therapy nearly tripled this cure rate, with an acceptable risk of complications and excellent or good clinical outcomes in 81% of patients. Radiosurgery alone should be used for intrinsic brainstem AVMs, and multimodality treatment should be considered for all other posterior fossa AVMs.