BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE-: The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency, severity, and predictors of neurological deficits after adjuvant embolization for cerebral arteriovenous malformations. METHODS-: From 1997 to 2006, 202 of 275 patients with arteriovenous malformation received embolization before microsurgery (n=176) or radiosurgery (n=26). Patients were examined before and after endovascular embolization and at clinical follow-up (mean, 43.4±34.6 months). Outcome was classified according to the modified Rankin Scale. New neurological deficits after embolization were defined as minimal (no change in overall modified Rankin Scale), moderate (modified Rankin Scale ≤2), or significant (modified Rankin Scale >2). RESULTS-: Two hundred two patients were treated in 377 embolization procedures. There were a total of 29 new clinical deficits after embolization (8% of procedures; 14% of patients), of which 19 were moderate or significant. Postembolization deficits resolved in a significant number of patients over time (P<0.0001). Five patients had persistent neurological deficits due to embolization (1.3% of procedures; 2.5% of patients). In multivariate analysis, the following variables significantly predicted new neurological deficit after embolization: complex arteriovenous malformation with treatment plan specifying more than one embolization procedure (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4 to 8.6), diameter <3 cm (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.2 to 9.1), diameter >6 cm (OR, 6.2; 95% CI, 1.0 to 57.0), deep venous drainage (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.1 to 6.9), or eloquent location (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.0 to 5.7). These variables were weighted and used to compute an arteriovenous malformation Embolization Prognostic Risk Score for each patient. A score of 0 predicted no new deficits, a score of 1 predicted a new deficit rate of 6%, a score of 2 predicted a new deficit rate of 15%, a score of 3 predicted a new deficit rate of 21%, and a score of 4 predicted a new deficit rate of 50% (P<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS-: Small and large size, eloquent location, deep venous drainage, and complex vascular anatomy requiring multiple embolization procedures are risk factors for the development of immediate postembolization neurological deficits. Nevertheless, a significant number of patients with treatment-related neurological deficits improve over time. The low incidence of permanent neurological deficits underscores the usefulness of this technique in carefully selected patients.
- Arteriovenous malformation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing