Prevalence of Brain Arteriovenous Malformations in First-Degree Relatives of Patients With a Brain Arteriovenous Malformation
Background and Purpose—It is uncertain whether familial occurrence of brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs) represents coincidental aggregation or a shared familial risk factor. We aimed to compare the prevalence of BAVMs in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with BAVM and the prevalence in the general population.
Methods—We sent a postal questionnaire to 682 patients diagnosed with a BAVM in 1 of 4 university hospitals to retrieve information about the occurrence of BAVMs among their FDRs. We calculated a prevalence ratio using the BAVM prevalence among FDRs and the prevalence from a Scottish population-based study (93 per 628 788 adults). A prevalence ratio of ≥9 with a lower limit of the 95% confidence interval of 3 was considered indicative of a shared familial risk factor.
Results—Informed consent was given by 460 (67%) patients, who had 2992 FDRs. We identified 3 patients with a FDR with a BAVM, yielding a prevalence ratio of 6.8 (95% CI, 2.2–21).
Conclusions—The prevalence of BAVMs in FDRs of patients with a BAVM was increased but did not meet our prespecified criterion for a shared familial risk factor. In combination with the low absolute risk of a BAVM in FDRs, our results do not support screening of FDRs for BAVMs.
- Received April 4, 2014.
- Revision received August 5, 2014.
- Accepted August 26, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.