Gamma knife radiosurgery followed by flow-reductive embolization for ruptured arteriovenous malformation

Myung Ji Kim, So Hee Park, Keun Young Park, Hyun Ho Jung, Jong Hee Chang, Jin Woo Chang, Jae Whan Lee, Won Seok Chang

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Background: Aggressive treatment to achieve complete obliteration of brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is necessary in patients with a recent history of hemorrhage. The major drawback of Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) alone for AVM is risk of bleeding during the latent period until the AVM occludes. At our center, patients who present with ruptured AVMs are frequently offered GKRS followed by embolization. The goal of this study was to compare outcomes of embolization for patients who have previously undergone GKRS for ruptured AVMs. Methods: A database including 150 GKRS for ruptured AVMs between November 2008 and October 2017 was reviewed. The embolized group was selected by including AVMs with post-GKRS embolization. The non-embolized group was defined as AVMs treated by GKRS alone. Outcomes including obliteration rate, incidence of repeat hemorrhage, and delayed cyst formation were compared between two groups. The predictive factors related to AVM obliteration and complications were analyzed. Results: The study consisted of 81 patients in the non-embolized group and 17 patients in the embolized group. Statistically significant differences were detected between the two groups with respect to age, Pollock-Flickinger score, Spetzler-Martin (SM) grade, eloquence of adjacent brain, and presence of aneurysms. The embolized group included more AVMs with larger median nidus volume. The predictive factors for the obliteration of ruptured AVMs were nidus volume, SM grade, Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (VRAS), and Pollock-Flickinger score and for the subsequent hemorrhage were marginal dose, nidus volume, SM grade, VRAS, and Pollock-Flickinger score. The obliteration rates and complication rates after GKRS between groups were not significantly different. However, this study demonstrated statistically significant difference in the cumulative incidence of obliteration in AVMs with SM grade III and IV (p = 0.037). Conclusion: Although the current study demonstrated similar results in patients who underwent GKRS with and without embolization, the embolized group included more AVMs with larger nidus volume, higher SM grade, Pollock-Flickinger score, and aneurysm, which have a lower chance of obliteration and a higher probability of repeat hemorrhage. GKRS followed by embolization appears to be a beneficial approach for the treatment of ruptured AVMs that are at risk for obliteration failure and repeat hemorrhage during the latency period after single-session GKRS alone. Further studies involving a larger number of cases and continuous follow-up are necessary to confirm our conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1318
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May

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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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