Cranial arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) carry a significant risk of morbidity and mortality when they hemorrhage. Current treatment options include surgery, embolization, radiosurgery, or a combination of these treatments. Radiosurgery is thought to reduce the risk hemorrhage in AVMs and AVFs by obliterating of the nidus of abnormal vasculature over the course of 2 to 3 years. Success in treating AVMs is variable depending on the volume of the lesion, the radiation dose, and the pattern of vascular supply and drainage. This article discusses the considerations for selecting radiosurgery as a treatment modality in patients who present with AVMs and AVFs.
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