In 2014, A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations (ARUBA) concluded that medical management alone for cranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) had better clinical outcomes than interventional treatment. The impact of the ARUBA study on changes in the rates of intervention and outcomes is unknown. Thus, we investigated whether the conclusions from ARUBA may have influenced treatment modalities and outcomes of unruptured AVMs.
Methods The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) was queried between 2006 and 2018, for adult patients with an AVM who were admitted on an elective basis. Interventions included open, endovascular, and stereotactic surgeries. Join-point regression was used to assess differences in slopes of treatment rate for each modality before and after the time-point. Logistic regression was used to assess the odds of non-routine discharge and hemorrhage between the two time-points for each treatment modality. Linear regression was used to assess the mean length of stay (LOS) for each treatment modality between the two time-points.
Results A total of 40,285 elective admissions for AVMs were identified between 2006 and 2018. The rate of intervention was higher pre-ARUBA (n = 15,848; 63.8%) compared to post-ARUBA (n = 6985; 45.2%; difference in slope − 8.24%, p < 0.001). The rate of open surgery decreased, while endovascular and stereotactic surgeries remained the same, after the ARUBA trial time-point (difference in slopes − 8.24%, p < 0.001; − 1.74%, p = 0.055; 0.20%, p = 0.22, respectively). For admissions involving interventions, the odds of non-routine discharge were higher post-ARUBA (OR 1.24; p = 0.043); the odds of hemorrhage were lower post-ARUBA (OR 0.69; p = 0.025). There was no statistical difference in length of stay between the two time-points (p = 0.22).
Conclusion The rate of intervention decreased, the rate of non-routine discharge increased, and rate of hemorrhage decreased post-ARUBA, suggesting that it may have influenced treatment practices for unruptured AVMs.