Radiosurgery is effective in obliterating small arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), but less successful in thrombosing larger AVMs. This study reviewed patients who underwent surgical resection of their large AVMs following failed radiosurgical obliteration. AVMs from 36 patients (aged 7 to 64 years, mean 29.9) were surgically resected 1 to 11 years after radiosurgery. Initial AVM volumes were 0.7 to 117 cm3 (mean 21.6 cm3), and radiosurgical doses ranged from 4.6 to 45 Gray equivalent (GyE) (mean 21.1 GyE). Thirty AVMs (83%) were located in eloquent tissue. Venous drainage was deep (14), superficial (13), or both (9). Spetzler grades were II (2), III (12), IV (18), and V (4). Nine patients suffered rehemorrhage after radiosurgery but prior to surgery, while three patients developed radiation necrosis. Twenty-seven patients underwent endovascular embolization prior to surgery. During microsurgical resection, the AVMs were found to be significantly less vascular and more easily resected, compared to AVMs in patients who had not received radiosurgery. Histology showed endothelial proliferation with hyaline and mineralization in vessel walls. Partial or complete thrombosis of some AVM vessels, and evidence of vessel and brain necrosis were noted in many cases. Clinical outcome was excellent or good in 34 cases, with two patients dying of rebleeding from residual AVM. Five patients were neurologically worse following microsurgical resection. Final outcome was largely related to the pretreatment grade. Radiosurgery several years prior to surgical resection appears useful in treating unusually large and complex AVMs.
View details for PubMedID 10235006