Postradiosurgery Hemorrhage Rates of Arteriovenous Malformations of the Brain
Influencing Factors and Evolution With Time
Background and Purpose—The long-term benefit of radiosurgery of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM), especially nonhemorrhagic cases, is controversial. We calculated hemorrhage rates pre- and posttreatment and analyzed the risk factors for bleeding based on cases followed at our site.
Methods—One hundred eight patients, age 36±17 years, 56 men. The mean follow-up was 65±44 months (median, 54; interquartile range, 33–94). Most AVMs were small (74.1% <3 cm in diameter); 48.1% were located in an eloquent area, 27.8% had deep drainage, and 39.8% presented with hemorrhage.
Results—The annual hemorrhage rate for any undiagnosed AVM was 1.2%, and 3.3% for AVMs with hemorrhagic presentation. Older patients, cortical or subcortical AVMs, and cases with multiple draining veins were less likely to present with bleeding. During the first 36 months postradiosurgery, hemorrhagic AVMs had a rebleeding rate of 2.1%, and a rate of 1.1% from 3 years onwards. Nonhemorrhagic AVMs had a hemorrhage rate of 1.4% during the first 3 years and 0.3% afterward. Arterial hypertension and nidus volume were independent predictors of bleeding after treatment. Mean nidus obliteration time was 37±18 months (median, 32; interquartile range, 25–40), with hemorrhage rate of 1.3% before and 0.6% after obliteration, and 1.9% for AVMs that were not closed at the end of follow-up.
Conclusions—Both hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic AVMs benefit from radiosurgical therapy, with gradual decrease in their bleeding rates over the years. Albeit small, the risk of hemorrhage persists during the entirety of follow-up, being higher for cases with hemorrhagic presentation and nonobliterated AVM.
- Received August 11, 2011.
- Accepted January 19, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.