Zabramski classification in predicting the occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage in sporadic cerebral cavernous malformations

J Neurosurg 140:792–799, 2024

The authors aimed to investigate the evolutionary characteristics of the Zabramski classification of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) and the value of the Zabramski classification in predicting clinical outcome in patients with sporadic CCM.

METHODS This retrospective study consecutively included cases of sporadic CCM that had been untreated from January 2001 through December 2021. Baseline and follow-up patient information was recorded. The evolution of the Zabramski classification of a sporadic CCM was defined as the initial lesion type changing into another type for the first time on MRI follow-up. The primary outcome was the occurrence of a hemorrhage event, which was defined as a symptomatic event with radiological evidence of overt intracerebral hemorrhage.

RESULTS Among the 255 included cases, 55 (21.6%) were classified as type I CCM, 129 (50.6%) as type II CCM, and 71 (27.8%) as type III CCM, based on initial MRI. During a mean follow-up of 58.8 ± 33.6 months, 51 (20.0%) patients had lesion classification transformation, whereas 204 (80.0%) patients maintained their initial type. Among the 51 transformed lesions, 29 (56.9%) were type I, 11 (21.6%) were type II, and 11 (21.6%) were type III. Based on all follow-up imaging, of the initial 55 type I lesions, 26 (47.3%) remained type I and 27 (49.1%) regressed to type III because of hematoma absorption; 91.5% of type II and 84.5% of type III lesions maintained their initial type during MRI follow-up. The classification change rate of type I lesions was statistically significantly higher than those of type II and III lesions. After a total follow-up of 1157.7 patient-years, new clinical hemorrhage events occurred in 40 (15.7%) patients. The annual cumulative incidence rate for symptomatic hemorrhage in all patients was 3.4 (95% CI 2.5–4.7) per 100 person-years. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that the annual cumulative incidence rate for symptomatic hemorrhage of type I CCM (15.3 per 100 patient-years) was significantly higher than those of type II (0.6 per 100 patient-years) and type III (2.3 per 100 patient-years).

CONCLUSIONS This study suggests that the Zabramski classification is helpful in estimating clinical outcome and can assist with surgical decision-making in patients with sporadic CCM.