Impact of flow and angioarchitecture on brain arteriovenous malformation outcome after gamma knife radiosurgery: the role of hemodynamics and morphology in obliteration

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2020 Jul;162(7):1749-1757. doi: 10.1007/s00701-020-04351-4. Epub 2020 Apr 26.


Background: Few studies have evaluated the relationship between brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) angioarchitecture and the response to Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery (GKSR).

Methods: A prospectively enrolled single-center cohort of patients with bAVMs treated by GKSR has been studied to define independent predictors of obliteration with particular attention to angioarchitectural variables. Only patients older than 18 years old (y.o.), who underwent baseline digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and clinico-radiological follow-up of at least 36 months, were included in the study.

Results: Data of 191 patients were evaluated. After a mean follow-up of 80 months (range 37-173), total obliteration rate after first GKSR treatment was 66%. Mean dose higher than 22 Gy (P = .019, OR = 2.39, 95% CI 1.15-4.97) and flow rate dichotomized into high vs non-high (P < .001, OR = 0.23, 95% CI 0.11-0.51) resulted to be independent predictors of obliteration. Flow-surrogate angioarchitectural features did not emerge as independent outcome predictors.

Conclusions: Flow rate seems to be associated in predicting outcome after GKSR conferring high-flow AVM a lower occlusion rate. Its role should be considered when planning radiosurgical treatment of bAVM, and it could be added to other parameters used in GKRS outcome predicting scales.

Keywords: Angioarchitecture; Brain arteriovenous malformations; Flow; Gamma knife radiosurgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / physiopathology
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Radiography
  • Radiosurgery / adverse effects
  • Radiosurgery / methods*