A practical grading scale for predicting outcome after radiosurgery for arteriovenous malformations: analysis of 1012 treated patients

Clinical article

Robert M. Starke M.D., M.Sc., Chun-Po Yen M.D., Dale Ding M.D., and Jason P. Sheehan M.D., Ph.D.
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  • Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia
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Object

The authors performed a study to review outcomes following Gamma Knife radiosurgery for cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and to create a practical scale to predict long-term outcome.

Methods

Outcomes were reviewed in 1012 patients who were followed up for more than 2 years. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent, symptomatic, radiation-induced complication. Preradiosurgery patient and AVM characteristics predictive of outcome in multivariate analysis were weighted according to their odds ratios to create the Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale.

Results

The mean follow-up time was 8 years (range 2–20 years). Arteriovenous malformation obliteration occurred in 69% of patients. Postradiosurgery hemorrhage occurred in 88 patients, for a yearly incidence of 1.14%. Radiation-induced changes occurred in 387 patients (38.2%), symptoms in 100 (9.9%), and permanent deficits in 21 (2.1%). Favorable outcome was achieved in 649 patients (64.1%). The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale was created such that patients were assigned 1 point each for having an AVM volume of 2–4 cm3, eloquent AVM location, or a history of hemorrhage, and 2 points for having an AVM volume greater than 4 cm3. Eighty percent of patients who had a score of 0–1 points had a favorable outcome, as did 70% who had a score of 2 points and 45% who had a score of 3–4 points. The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale was still predictive of outcome after controlling for predictive Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment parameters, including peripheral dose and number of isocenters, in a multivariate analysis. The Spetzler-Martin grading scale and the Radiosurgery-Based Grading Scale predicted favorable outcome, but the Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale provided the best assessment.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife radiosurgery can be used to achieve long-term AVM obliteration and neurological preservation in a predictable fashion based on patient and AVM characteristics.

Abbreviation used in this paper:AVM = arteriovenous malformation.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Robert M. Starke, M.D., M.Sc., Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908. email bobby.starke@gmail.com.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online July 5, 2013; DOI: 10.3171/2013.5.JNS1311.

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