Endovascular treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations with emphasis on the curative role of embolisation

Interv Neuroradiol. 2005 Oct 5;11(Suppl 1):37-43. doi: 10.1177/15910199050110S107. Epub 2005 Oct 27.


Valavanis A, Pangalu A, Tanaka M. Endovascular treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations with emphasis on the curative role of embolisation. Schweiz Arch Neurol Psychiatr 2004;155:341-7. Cerebral arteriovenous malformations are complex and only partially understood vascular lesions of the central nervous system with a natural history characterised by significant morbidity and mortality mainly due to an increased hemorrhagic risk, Microneurosurgical removal, radiosurgical obliteration and neuroendovascular embolisation are the principal therapeutic modalities applied individually or in various combinations according to varying selection criteria for the treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations. In this context embolisation plays a central role cither as a complementary or as the sole treatment technique. This report summarises the evolutive 18 years of continuous experience of the senior author with the neuroradiological evaluation and endovascular treatment of 644 patients with a cerebral arteriovenous malformation. Special emphasis is given to the underlying concepts and specific endovascular techniques developed for the complete, i.e. curative embolisation of cerebral arteriovenous malformations. Precise angiographic analysis of the vascular composition and intrinsic angioarchitecture of the nidus of the arteriovenous malformation by super-selective microcatheterisation is required to identify the types of feeding arteries and patterns of their supply, the number and vascular connections of nidal compartments, the types of arteriovenous shunts, the morphology of the vascular spaces composing the nidus and the number and exit patterns of draining veins. Complete angiographic investigation for recognition of secondarily induced phenomena of the cerebral vasculature, such as arterial and venous high-flow angiopathy and so-called perinidal angiogenesis is essential for a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of the associated haemorrhagic risk. Based on a precise topographic classification, detailed angioarchitectural analysis, application of superselective multimicrocatheterisation techniques along with a controlled intranidal injection of non-absorbable liquid embolic materials, nearly 40% of cerebral arteriovenous malformations can be completely and stably obliterated and therefore curatively treated by single session or multistaged embolisation with a morbidity of 1.3% and a mortality of 13%. which arc lower than the known natural history of this disease.