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Curative endovascular treatment for low-grade Spetzler-Martin brain arteriovenous malformations: a single-center prospective study
  1. Christina Iosif1,2,
  2. Adson Freitas de Lucena1,
  3. Luiz Gustavo Abreu-Mattos1,
  4. Victor Hugo Espindola Ala1,
  5. Amin El-Ghanam1,
  6. Suzana Saleme1,
  7. Francois Caire3,
  8. Charbel Mounayer1
  1. 1 Department of Interventional Neuroradiology, “Dupuytren” University Hospital, Limoges, France
  2. 2 Department of Interventional Neuroradiology, Erasmus University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium
  3. 3 Department of Neurosurgery, “Dupuytren” University Hospital, Limoges, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Christina Iosif, Hopital Erasme, Bruxelles, 1070, Belgium; christina.iosif{at}


Background The treatment of low grade Spetzler-Martin (SM) brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) has been debated in unruptured cases. Nevertheless, in clinical practice there are cases where treatment is preferred; in these cases a very low complication rate is mandatory. In ruptured cases, early and complete obliteration of the nidus is the preferred strategy.

Objective To achieve curative embolization, ideally in a single session, by dual microcatheterization techniques with arterial and/or venous access, according to the angioarchitecture.

Materials and methods This is a prospective, single-center study carried out between January 2008 and January 2016. Patients with ruptured and unruptured brain AVMs, with SM grades I and II, treated by endovascular means, were included. Demographics, clinical presentation, angioarchitecture, and procedure-related complications were analyzed. Angiographic and clinical results were reported.

Results Seventy-three patients, aged 40.5±17.8 years, were included. More than 60% of the patients presented with ruptured AVMs. Initial SM grades were I for 22% and II for 78% of the patients. Preprocedural modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score was 0–2 for 53 (72.6%), 3 for 12 (16.4%), 4 for 5 (6.8%) and 5 for 3 (4.1%) patients. Procedure-related morbidity was 2.7% and procedure-related mortality was 0%. Ninety percent (90.5%) of the patients were independent in their everyday lives (mRS score 0–2) at 6 months. In all but one case (95%) the embolization was curative.

Conclusion Stand-alone endovascular treatment for SM grade I and II brain AVMs seems safe and effective, allowing for complete obliteration of the nidus, with low complication rates. A study of larger cohorts is needed.

  • arteriovenous malformation
  • catheter
  • embolic
  • liquid embolic material

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  • Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; agreed to the final draft of the work and gave final approval of the version to be published and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests The authors declare no competing interests for the study presented.

  • Ethics approval Dupuytren University Hospital-Haute Vienne ethics commitee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Supplementary data are available upon request from the corresponding author.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.