Impact of Timing of Intervention Among 397 Consecutively Treated Brainstem Cavernous Malformations

Neurosurgery 81:620–626, 2017

Surgical resection of brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) is challenging, and patient selection and timing of intervention remain controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of surgical timing and predictors of neurological outcome after surgical resection of BSCMs.

METHODS: Consecutive adult patients (≥18 years) with BSCMs undergoing surgical resection between 1985 and 2014 by the senior author (RFS)were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, lesion characteristics, imaging results, surgical approach, and perioperative and long-term neurological morbidity were analyzed.

RESULTS: Data were analyzed for a total of 397 adult patients (160, 40% male).On univariate analysis, a greater proportion of patients treated within 6 weeks of hemorrhage had an improved Glasgow Outcome Scale score (P = .06). On logistic regression analysis, patients treated within 6weeks of hemorrhage experienced improved clinical outcomes (odds ratio = 1.73; 95% confidence interval = 1.06-2.83; P = .03).

CONCLUSIONS: Although BSCM surgery is associated with significant perioperative morbidity and mortality, favorable long-term hemorrhage rates and symptom resolution can be achieved in a carefully selected group of patients. Overall, patients treated acutely, within 6 weeks, benefited the most from surgical intervention.