Management of ruptured brain arteriovenous malformations

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2012 Aug;14(4):335-42. doi: 10.1007/s11883-012-0257-9.


Intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are a common cause of stroke in younger patients, and often present as intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH), associated with 10 % to 30 % mortality. Patients who present with a hemorrhage from an AVM should be initially stabilized according to acute management guidelines for ICH. The characteristics of a lesion including its size, location in eloquent tissue, and high-risk features will influence risk of rupture, prognosis, as well as help guide management decisions. Given that rupture is associated with an increased risk of 6 % re-rupture in the year following the initial hemorrhage, versus 1 % to 3 % predicted annual risk in non-ruptured lesions only, definitive treatment is encouraged after ICH stabilization. A rest period of 2 to 6 weeks after hemorrhage is recommended before definitive treatment to avoid disrupting friable parenchyma and the hematoma. Treatment may consist of endovascular embolization, surgical resection, radiosurgery, or a combination of these three interventions based on the lesion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / complications
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / therapy*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Coagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / complications
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Radiosurgery / methods*
  • Rupture, Spontaneous


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Coagulants