The purpose of this study was to review our experience with a multimodality treatment approach in the management of cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in children.
Methods We retrospectively analysed a consecutive series of 56 children who harboured a cerebral AVM and were treated at our institution between 1988 and 2008. During the whole treatment period, a combined treatment strategy, including microsurgery, endovascular treatment and gamma knife radiosurgery, was used.
Results Of the 56 patients (median age, 14.0; range, 3 months–18 years) reported, 36 (64.3%) were admitted after AVM rupture; of these, only one AVM (1.8%) was considered untreatable. In 30.9% (17/55) of the treated patients, a single treatment measure was sufficient to attain angiographic cure of the AVM. Among these, six patients (10.9%) had microsurgical AVM resection, four patients (7.3%) underwent endovascular treatment, and another seven patients (12.7%) underwent radiosurgical management of the AVM. The majority of the population (38/55; 69.1%) underwent combined treatment: 21 patients (38.2%) received embolisation followed by radiosurgery of the remnant nidus, ten patients (18.2%) underwent embolisation with subsequent surgical resection of the residual AVM, three patients (5.5%) had radiosurgery after incomplete surgical AVM nidus resection and another four patients (7.3%) required a combination of all three treatment modalities to achieve permanent angiographic cure of the AVM. We observed good clinical outcomes (Glasgow Outcome Scale 5 and 4) in 94.6% of the children. Complete angiographic obliteration was achieved in 93.3% of the patients treated.
Conclusion A multimodality treatment approach in children harbouring cerebral AVMs leads to excellent angiographic and clinical outcomes.