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J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2013 Oct;12(4):367-73. doi: 10.3171/2013.7.PEDS13126. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Resection of supratentorial lobar cavernous malformations in children: clinical article..

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Department of Neurosurgery, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.



The authors present a series of children with supratentorial lobar cavernous malformations (CMs). Current imaging and operative techniques along with long-term follow-up were incorporated to characterize the response to surgical treatment in this pediatric population.


The senior author's operative experience was reviewed retrospectively along with a review of the Boston Children's Hospital database from 1997 to 2011 for children with supratentorial lobar CMs. Lobar CM was defined as having a supratentorial location but not involving the thalamus/hypothalamus or basal ganglia. Baseline patient demographics, pertinent radiographic findings, operative outcomes, and long-term results were evaluated and compared between patients managed operatively and those who were managed nonoperatively.


Of 238 CMs identified, 181 (76%) were lobar. Compared with patients managed with observation only, those selected for surgery were older (p = 0.03), more likely to have symptomatic lesions (p < 0.001), and had larger lesions (p < 0.001). Of the 83 CMs selected for surgery, 98% were completely resected. Over a total of 384.5 patient-years of follow-up after surgery (mean 4.6 years; median 2.7 years; range 0.1-22.3 years), there were no subsequent hemorrhages in any patient undergoing complete resection; 1 of the 2 incompletely resected lesions rebled during the follow-up period. Radiographically, there was 1 recurrence (1.2%) in a child with multiple CMs; there were no recurrences of completely resected single lesions. Of the 48 patients who presented with seizures (acute or chronic), 46 (96%) were seizure free at follow-up. The permanent neurological complication rate of surgery was 5%; these complications were limited to those patients whose lesions were in eloquent locations.


Pediatric patients with symptomatic supratentorial lobar CMs are ideal candidates for surgery, for which there are high complete resection rates, rewarding long-term seizure outcomes, and low operative morbidity. Observation may be warranted in smaller asymptomatic lesions located within eloquent cortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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