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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Surgery of brainstem cavernous malformations

Brainstem cavernoma

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:2079–2083

Cavernomas are vascular hamartomas made up of thin-walled, grossly dilated blood vessels lined with endothelium. Between 4 and 35 % (mean 15 %) of cerebral cavernomas are located in the brainstem making resection of these lesions one of the most challenging tasks in neurosurgery.

Methods Patients with cavernomas within the brainstem or deep supratentorial structures were chosen from our prospectively collected database of operated patients with brain cavernomas. The timespan of treatment was between January 1998 and June 2012. Primary outcome was defined as percentage of patients with favourable outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) 4 or 5) at 1 year. Secondary outcome was defined as operation-related morbidity and mortality (drop at least 1 point on GOS at 1 year).

Results A total of 37 patients underwent surgery. The mean age was 34.7±11.7 years. The male to female ratio was 19:16. Thirty-two patients had a solitary lesion and 12 patients harboured multiple lesions. The Glasgow outcome score 4 or 5 was achieved after 34 operations (89.5 %). The mean follow-up was 39 months.We experienced two early post-operative deaths (5.3 %) and decrease in the Glasgow outcome scale postoperatively in 4 patients (10.5 %).

Conclusions • Favourable outcome was achieved in 89.5 % of cases. • Although M&M appears to be relatively high, surgery is method of choice for surgically accessible lesion which has bled for the first time due to reported high rebleed rate and high probability of poor outcome after cavernoma rebleed. • Radiosurgery should be reserved for those lesions which are deemed unresectable and where surgical intervention is considered favourable to observation alone.

Category: Vascular

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