Preoperative versus postoperative neuropsychological sequelae of arteriovenous malformations

Neurosurgery. 1993 Oct;33(4):563-70; discussion 570-1. doi: 10.1227/00006123-199310000-00003.


In a cohort of 14 patients suffering from cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM), neuropsychological functioning was examined before and after AVM resection. Improvements after surgery were assumed to be due to enhanced neurocognitive functions associated with the hemisphere ipsilateral to the AVM, and to a lesser extent, with the contralateral hemisphere. Before surgical intervention, the performances of AVM patients were deficient relative to matched normals. Postoperatively, neuropsychological gains were observed particularly in the areas of learning, memory, and higher integrative thought, not only for ipsilateral, but also for contralateral functioning. Contralateral and ipsilateral improvement is consistent with the premise that cerebrovascular steal is lessened; thus, neurosurgical intervention to eliminate arteriovenous shunts was found to result in overall neurobehavioral gains.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Basal Ganglia / blood supply
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / psychology
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests* / statistics & numerical data
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis*
  • Postoperative Complications / psychology
  • Psychometrics