Effective surgical treatment of cerebral cavernous malformations: a multicenter study of 79 pediatric patients

Clinical article

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  • 1 Departments of Neurosurgery and
  • | 4 Neurology, University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland;
  • | 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy; and
  • | 3 Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of Essen, Germany
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Object

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are common vascular lesions in the brain, affecting approximately 0.5% of the population and representing 10%–20% of all cerebral vascular lesions. One-quarter of all CCMs affect pediatric patients, and CCMs are reported as one of the main causes of brain hemorrhage in this age group. Symptoms include epileptic seizures, headache, and focal neurological deficits. Patients with symptomatic CCMs can be treated either conservatively or with resection if lesions cause medically refractory epilepsy or other persistent symptoms.

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed 79 pediatric patients (41 boys and 38 girls) from 3 different centers, who were surgically treated for their symptomatic CCMs between 1974 and 2004. The mean age of the children at first manifestation was 9.7 years, and the mean age at operation was 11.3 years. The main goal was to compare the clinical outcomes with respect to the location of the lesion of children who preoperatively suffered from epileptic seizures.

Results

Of these patients, 77.3% were seizure free (Engel Class I) after the resection of the CCM. Significant differences in the outcome between children who harbored CCMs at different locations were not found.

Conclusions

Resection seems to be the favorable treatment of symptomatic CCMs not only in adults but also in children.

Abbreviation used in this paper:

CCM = cerebral cavernous malformation.

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