Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Arteriovenous Malformations: Evaluation of Obliteration and Review of Associated Predictors

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2020 Aug;29(8):104863. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.104863. Epub 2020 Jun 8.


Background: High arteriovenous malformation (AVM) obliteration rates have been reported with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and multiple factors have been found to be associated with AVM obliteration. These predictors have been inconsistent throughout studies. We aimed to analyze our experience with linear accelerator (LINAC)-based SRS for brain AVMs, evaluate outcomes, assess factors associated with AVM obliteration and review the various reported predictors of AVM obliteration.

Methods: Electronic medical records were retrospectively reviewed to identify consecutive patients with brain AVMs treated with SRS over a 27-year period with at least 2 years of follow-up. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with AVM obliteration.

Results: One hundred twenty-eight patients with 142 brain AVMs treated with SRS were included. Mean age was 34.4 years. Fifty-two percent of AVMs were associated with a hemorrhage before SRS, and 14.8% were previously embolized. Mean clinical and angiographic follow-up times were 67.8 months and 58.6 months, respectively. The median Spetzler-Martin grade was 3. Mean maximal AVM diameter was 2.8 cm and mean AVM target volume was 7.4 cm3 with a median radiation dose of 16 Gy. Complete AVM obliteration was achieved in 80.3%. Radiation-related signs and symptoms were encountered in 32.4%, only 4.9% of which consisted of a permanent deficit. Post-SRS AVM-related hemorrhage occurred in 6.3% of cases. In multivariate analysis, factors associated with AVM obliteration included younger patient age (P = .019), male gender (P = .008), smaller AVM diameter (P = .04), smaller AVM target volume (P = .009), smaller isodose surface volume (P = .005), a higher delivered radiation dose (P = .013), and having only one major draining vein (P = .04).

Conclusions: AVM obliteration with LINAC-based radiosurgery was safe and effective and achieved complete AVM obliteration in about 80% of cases. The most prominent predictors of AVM success included AVM size, AVM volume, radiation dose, number of draining veins and patient age.

Keywords: AVM obliteration; Based radiosurgery; Brain arteriovenous malformation; Linear accelerator; Stereotactic radiosurgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / physiopathology
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / radiotherapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / physiopathology
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiosurgery* / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult