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Neurosurgery. 2010 Feb;66(2):343-8; discussion 348. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000363599.72318.BA.

Systemic expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.



Increased expression angiogenic factors, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), are associated with the formation of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The objective of this study was to determine plasma levels of MMP-9 of patients with AVMs.


Blood samples were drawn from 15 patients with AVMs before treatment, 24 hours postembolization, 24 hours postresection, and 30 days postresection. Blood samples were also obtained from 30 healthy controls. Plasma MMP-9 concentrations were measured via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


The mean plasma MMP-9 level in AVM patients at baseline was significantly higher than in control patients: 108.04 +/- 16.11 versus 41.44 +/- 2.44 ng/mL, respectively. The mean plasma MMP-9 level 1 day after embolization increased to 172.35 +/- 53.76 ng/mL, which was not significantly elevated over pretreatment levels. One day after resection, plasma MMP-9 levels increased significantly over pretreatment levels to 230.97 +/- 51.00 ng/mL. Mean plasma MMP-9 concentrations 30 days after resection decreased to 92.8 +/- 18.7 ng/mL, which was not different from pretreatment levels but was still significantly elevated over control levels. MMP-9 levels did not correlate with patient sex, age, presentation, or AVM size.


Plasma MMP-9 levels are significantly elevated over controls at baseline, increase significantly immediately after surgery, and decrease to pretreatment levels during follow-up.

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