A consecutive series of arteriovenous malformations of the brain, no greater than 3 cm in diameter, referred to the author between January 1989 and October 1994 is reviewed. Of these 42 cases 39 underwent surgical excision of the lesion. The surgical group had mortality, 2.5% morbidity and 100% angiographic cure. Surgery in non-eloquent brain (n=21) resulted in no neurological morbidity and surgery in eloquent brain (n=18) resulted in a 5.5% neurological morbidity. The reason for not operating in three cases was elderly age in one, poor neurological condition in one, and involvement of the posterior limb of the internal capsule in one. Arteriovenous malformations with diameters no greater than 3 cm are considered by some to be suitable for treatment by focussed irradiation. However, surgery is likely to remain the more effective and safer mode of treatment for the majority of cases when factoring in the expected complications of focussed irradiation during the latency period. These risks are discussed.
- Arteriovenous malformation
- Focussed irradiation