Purpose: We discuss the management of cerebral arteriovenous shunts in neonates, infants, and children, with emphasis on our experience with pediatric cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The management of vein of Galen malformations is discussed in a separate chapter.
Methods: An all-inclusive retrospective chart review of the endovascular surgery operative record database at the Hyman Newman Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Roosevelt Hospital in NYC was conducted. All consecutive pediatric patients (newborn to 18 years of age) with intracranial arteriovenous shunts who presented from January 1, 2004 to June 16, 2009 were included.
Results: A total of 151 consecutive pediatric patients with intracranial arteriovenous shunts were evaluated from the period of January 1, 2004 to June 16, 2009. This included 56 patients with vein of Galen malformations, 48 cerebral AVMs, 11 patients with pial arteriovenous fistulae, six patients with dural arteriovenous malformations, and 30 patients with mixed intracranial vascular malformations. Forty-four patients underwent a total of 163 endovascular embolizations. The complications rate for endovascular embolizations was 6.7% (11 in 163), 5.5% with temporary complications and 1.2% with permanent complications. The mortality rate for the group of patients (excluding patients with vein of Galen malformations) that underwent endovascular embolizations was 0.0%.
Conclusions: Careful clinical observation and timely intervention are important in the management of pediatric patients with intracranial arteriovenous shunts. Trans-arterial endovascular embolization with liquid embolic agents is the treatment of choice for safe stabilization and/or improvement of symptoms in the group of pediatric patients with intracranial arteriovenous malformations.