Targeted Embolization of Aneurysms Associated With Brain Arteriovenous Malformations at High Risk for Surgical Resection: A Case-Control Study

Neurosurgery. 2018 Mar 1;82(3):343-349. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyx167.


Background: High-risk components of brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs) can be targeted to reduce the risk of lesion rupture.

Objective: To evaluate targeted embolization of aneurysms against other means of treatment with a case-control analysis; we previously investigated this approach associated with BAVMs.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients with BAVMs was performed, identifying patients treated with intention to occlude only an aneurysm associated with a BAVM. For each targeted aneurysm embolization (TAE) patient identified, 4 control patients were randomly selected, controlling for rupture status, age, and Spetzler-Martin plus Lawton-Young supplemental score. Analysis was performed to compare rates of adverse events (hemorrhage, new seizure, and death) between the 2 groups.

Results: Thirty-two patients met inclusion criteria, and 128 control patients were identified, out of 1103 patients treated during the study period. Thirty-four adverse events occurred (15 ruptures, 15 new seizures, and 11 deaths) during the follow-up period (mean 1157 d for the TAE cohort and 1036 d for the non-TAE cohort). Statistically lower associations were noted for the TAE group for any adverse event (hazard ratio 0.28, P = .037) and the composite outcome of hemorrhage or new seizure (hazard ratio 0.20, P = .029).

Conclusion: For BAVMs at high risk for surgical resection, TAE can be performed safely and effectively. Patients treated with TAE had better outcomes than matched patients undergoing other combinations of treatment. TAE can be considered for BAVMs with high operative risk prior to radiosurgery or when no other treatment options are available.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / epidemiology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / epidemiology
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Radiosurgery / methods*
  • Random Allocation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors