Subclinical imaging changes in cerebral cavernous angiomas during prospective surveillance

J Neurosurg 134:1147–1154, 2021

The purpose of this study was to systematically assess asymptomatic changes (ACs), including subclinical hemorrhage, growth, or new lesion formation (NLF) during longitudinal follow-up of cerebral cavernous angiomas (CAs), and to correlate these with symptomatic hemorrhage (SH) during the same period and with clinical features of the disease.

METHODS One hundred ninety-two patients were included in this study, among 327 consecutive patients with CA, prospectively identified between September 2009 and February 2019. Included patients had undergone clinical and MRI follow-up, in conjunction with institutional review board–approved biomarker studies, and harbored ≥ 1 CA with a maximum diameter of ≥ 5 mm on T2-weighted MRI. Rates of AC and SH per lesion-year and patient-year were assessed using prospectively articulated criteria. In multifocal/familial cases, rates of NLF were also assessed.

RESULTS There were no differences in demographic or disease features among cases included or excluded in the study cohort, except for a higher proportion of included patients with CCM3 mutation. Follow-up was 411 patient-years (2503 lesion-years). The rate of AC was higher than the rate of SH (12.9% vs 7.5% per patient-year, and 2.1% vs 1.2% per lesion-year, both p = 0.02). Patients presenting with a prior history of SH had a higher rate of AC than those with other forms of presentation (19.7% and 8.2% per patient-year, respectively; p = 0.003). A higher rate of NLF on T2-weighted MRI (p = 0.03) was observed in patients with prior SH. Three of 6 solitary/sporadic and 2 of 28 multifocal/familial patients underwent resection of the lesion after AC.

CONCLUSIONS Rates of AC are greater than SH during prospective follow-up of CAs, and greater in cases with prior SH. AC may be a more sensitive biomarker of lesional activity, and a more efficient surrogate outcome in clinical trials than SH. Patients experiencing an AC are more likely to undergo a surgical intervention when CAs are solitary/sporadic than when they are multifocal/familial.


Are parenchymal AVMs congenital lesions?

Are parenchymal AVMs congenital lesions?

Neurosurg Focus 37 (3):E2, 2014

A long-held dogma in neurosurgery is that parenchymal arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are congenital. However, there is no strong evidence supporting this theory.

An increasing number of documented cases of de novo formation of parenchymal AVMs cast doubt on their congenital nature and suggest that indeed the majority of these lesions may form after birth.

Further evidence suggesting the postnatal development of parenchymal AVMs comes from the exceedingly rare diagnosis of these lesions in utero despite the widespread availability of high-resolution imaging modalities such as ultrasound and fetal MRI.

The exact mechanism of AVM formation has yet to be elucidated, but most likely involves genetic susceptibility and environmental triggering factors.

In this review, the authors report 2 cases of de novo AVM formation and analyze the evidence suggesting that they represent an acquired condition.