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Curative endovascular treatment for low-grade Spetzler-Martin brain arteriovenous malformations: a single-center prospective study


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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