Concept of arteriovenous malformation compartments and surgical management

Neurol Res. 2004 Apr;26(3):288-300. doi: 10.1179/016164104225013987.


Cerebral AVMs are known to be a source of intracranial hemorrhages and epileptic seizures. Their natural history indicates approximately 15% mortality and 35% morbidity over a 15-year period. This significant mortality and morbidity mandates a need for satisfactory treatment of this entity, ideally by elimination of AVMs. Microsurgical resection, endovascular embolization and radiosurgery (irradiation) are the three effective modes of treatment currently available. However, no objective criteria have been established for which mode(s) of treatment should be selected for individual patients with AVMs. Considering the complexity of AVMs and variable conditions of individual patients, neurosurgeons, intravascular interventionalists and radiosurgeons must make their own decisions on how to treat each patient based on their experience. In practice, treatment of small AVMs in non-functional areas is favored equally by each of these specialists, while they tend to avoid treatment of large AVMs, particularly those in functional areas of the brain. The authors report the surgical intervention of large AVMs, including those located in functional areas of the hemisphere by special techniques. One can demonstrate AVM compartments by using angiography and with the aid of color Doppler ultrasonography, each compartment can be outlined and dissected individually until all the compartments are isolated without causing any damage to the surrounding brain and the entire AVM is rendered shrunken and then removed. The concept of compartmental treatment of AVMs may be applied in the future to radiosurgery and intravascular embolization of large AVMs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Malformations* / complications
  • Arteriovenous Malformations* / pathology
  • Arteriovenous Malformations* / surgery
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Concept Formation*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Microsurgery
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures