Results of surgery for low-grade brain arteriovenous malformation resection by early career neurosurgeons

an observational study

Nirav J. Patel, David Bervini, Behzad Eftekhar, Andrew Stewart Davidson, Daniel C. Walsh, Nazih N. Assaad, Michael Kerin Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: For sustainability of arteriovenous malformation (AVM) surgery, results from early career cerebrovascular neurosurgeons (ECCNs) must be acceptably safe. Objective: To determine whether ECCNs performance of Spetzler-Ponce Class A AVM (SPC A) resection can be acceptably safe. Methods: ECCNs completing a cerebrovascular fellowship (2004-2015) with the last author were included. Inclusion of the ECCN cases occurred if they: had a prospective database of all AVM cases since commencing independent practice; were the primary surgeon on SPC A; and had made the significant management decisions. All SPC A surgical cases from the beginning of the ECCN's independent surgical practice to a maximum of 8 yr were included. An adverse outcome was considered a complication of surgery leading to a new permanent neurological deficit with a last modified Rankin Scale score >1. A cumulative summation (Cusum) plot examined the performance of each surgery. The highest acceptable level of adverse outcomes for the Cusum was 3.3%, derived from the upper 95% confidence interval of the last author's reported series. Results: Six ECCNs contributed 110 cases for analysis. The median number of SPC A cases operated by each ECCN was 16.5 (range 4-40). Preoperative embolization was performed in 5 (4.5%). The incidence of adverse outcomes was 1.8% (95% confidence interval: <0.01%-6.8%). At no point during the accumulated series did the combined cohort become unacceptable by the Cusum plot. Conclusion: ECCNs with appropriate training appointed to large-volume cerebrovascular centers can achieve results for surgery for SPC A that are not appreciably worse than those published from high-volume neurosurgeons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-661
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • AVM
  • Brain
  • Cumulative summation
  • Cusum
  • Outcome
  • Surgery

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