Object: The goal of this study was to determine the rates of mortality and morbidity associated with the embolization of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the brain and to analyze the factors related to embolization-related complications.
Methods: The University of Toronto Brain Vascular Malformation Study Group database was reviewed. Three hundred six patients underwent 513 embolization sessions between November 1984 and September 2002. The combined rate of death and any permanent disabling neurological deficit was 3.9% per patient. Location of the AVM in an eloquent part of the brain, presence of a fistula, and a venous deposition of glue were related to complications. A clinically important reduction in the rate of death and disabling morbidity occurred in the second half of the study period.
Conclusions: Embolization of AVMs in the brain is associated with low overall rates of mortality and disabling morbidity.