Management of posterior fossa arteriovenous malformations

Surg Neurol Int. 2015 Feb 25:6:31. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.152140. eCollection 2015.


Background: Posterior fossa arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are rare vascular lesions, representing 7-15% of all intracranial AVMs. Although less frequent than supratentorial AVMs, they present higher rupture, morbidity, and mortality rates. Microsurgery, radiosurgery, and endovascular neurosurgery are treatment options for obliteration of those lesions. In this paper, we present a critical review of the literature about the management of posterior fossa AVM.

Methods: A MEDLINE-based search of articles published between January 1960 and January 2014 was performed. The search terms: "Posterior fossa arteriovenous malformation," "microsurgery," "radiosurgery," and "endovascular" were used to identify the articles.

Results: Current data supports the role of microsurgery as the gold standard treatment for cerebellar AVMs. Brainstem AVMs are usually managed with radiotherapy and endovascular therapy; microsurgery is considered in cases of pial brainstem AVMs.

Conclusions: Succsseful treatment of posterior fossa AVMs depend on an integrated work of neurosurgeons, radiosurgeons, and endovascular neurosurgery. Although the development of radiosurgery and endovascular techniques is remarkable, microsurgery remains as the gold standard treatment for most of those lesions.

Keywords: Arteriovenous malformation; endovascular; management; microsurgery; posterior fossa; radiosurgery.

Publication types

  • Review