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Neurosurgery. 1996 Sep;39(3):460-7; discussion 467-9.

Embolization of cerebral arteriovenous malformations: Part II--Aspects of complications and late outcome.

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Department of Neurology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.



From 1987 through 1993, we performed embolizations on 150 patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The patients ranged in age from 5 to 70 years (35.5 +/- 14.8 yr, mean +/- standard deviation) and were selected by neurosurgeons in Scandinavia. We analyzed the risk of complications and late outcome to have a better basis for the decision to perform embolization.


The follow-up was a personal clinical examination of all surviving patients by a neurologist. Files for all patients were also studied.


In 34 patients, the AVMs were eliminated by embolization alone (20 patients) or by supplementary surgery (14 patients). In 66 patients, the AVMs were embolized to a size suitable for supplementary stereotactic radiation. The clinical course was stable for those 100 patients. Another group of 50 patients who had undergone embolization was only partially treated, and as a group, those patients had less favorable outcomes. The manifestations or symptoms leading to diagnosis were in concordance with other studies. Headache and epilepsy showed a positive response to treatment in patients whose AVMs had been eliminated as well as in those who received only partial treatment. A history of cerebral bleeding did not influence the prognosis of recurrent bleeding. Conversely, AVMs with feeder or nidus aneurysms were related to an increased risk of bleeding. If there was a history of bleeding in a patient with large, partially treated AVMs, the prognosis for survival was diminished.


The indication for treatment increases with the occurrence of AVMs with associated aneurysms. For patients with large AVMs, a history of bleeding justifies a more aggressive approach to treatment. The reduced risk of complications during the last years of the study also increases the indication for embolization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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