Background: The management of cerebral arteriovenous malformations needs effective treatments. So far, no study has shown that partial targeted embolization treatment (PTET) reduces the risk of intracranial hemorrhage with respect to the natural history of the malformation.
Methods: The pre-treatment and post-treatment-initialization hemorrhage incidences of neuro-interventional patients were compared. Two hundred fifteen patient years from 519 patients were used to observe the short term course of the untreated disease. Five hundred patient years from 326 patients were used to observe hemorrhage after the start of treatment. The Kaplan-Meier estimator of hemorrhage free time under treatment was compared with results in the literature. Confounding influences resulting from selection processes or the disease parameters were studied.
Results: The yearly hemorrhage incidence rate of all untreated patients was observed as 0.089 (95% CI [0.053, 0.138]). This rate was 0.052 (95% CI [0.019, 0.114]) in the subgroup of patients who underwent PTET later. In the same group the observed annual rate after the start of PTET was 0.036 (95% CI [0.021, 0.057]). Crawford's results about intracranial hemorrhage during the natural course show the lowest risk values compared to other published studies . There was a significant difference between the Crawford's reference data and the ICH incidence after the start of PTET in the neuro-interventional population (p=0.037). The morbidity risk in treated patients was 5.3% for a transitory and 2% for a persisting neurological deficit. Mortality results were compared with those of Crawford.
Conclusion: The neuro-interventional patients under study show a lower hemorrhage risk than the population studied by Crawford. A significant superiority with respect to hemorrhage risk is established two years after the start of the PTET treatment.