Delayed recurrence of pediatric arteriovenous malformations after radiologically confirmed obliteration

Soliman Oushy, Hannah E. Gilder, Cody L. Nesvick, Giuseppe Lanzino, Bruce E. Pollock, David J. Daniels, Edward S. Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are a major cause of intracerebral hemorrhage in children, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Moreover, the rate of AVM recurrence in children is significantly higher than in adults. The aim of this study was to define the risk of delayed pediatric AVM (pAVM) recurrence following confirmed radiological obliteration. Further understanding of this risk could inform the role of long-term radiological surveillance. METHODS The authors conducted a retrospective review of ruptured and unruptured pAVM cases treated at a single tertiary care referral center between 1994 and 2019. Demographics, clinical characteristics, treatment modalities, and AVM recurrence were analyzed. RESULTS A total of 102 pediatric patients with intracranial AVMs, including 52 (51%) ruptured cases, were identified. The mean patient age at presentation was 11.2 ± 4.4 years, and 51 (50%) patients were female. The mean nidus size was 2.66 ± 1.44 cm. The most common Spetzler-Martin grades were III (32%) and II (31%). Stereotactic radiosurgery was performed in 69.6% of patients. AVM obliteration was radiologically confirmed in 68 (72.3%) of 94 patients with follow-up imaging, on angiography in 50 (73.5%) patients and on magnetic resonance imaging in 18 (26.5%). AVM recurrence was identified in 1 (2.3%) of 43 patients with long-term surveillance imaging over a mean follow-up of 54.7 ± 38.9 months (range 2–153 months). This recurrence was identified in a boy who had presented with a ruptured AVM and had been surgically treated at 5 years of age. The AVM recurred 54 months after confirmed obliteration on surveillance digital subtraction angiography. Two other cases of presumed AVM recurrence following resection in young children were excluded from recurrence analysis because of incomplete sets of imaging available for review. CONCLUSIONS AVM recurrence following confirmed obliteration on imaging is a rare phenomenon, though it occurs more frequently in the pediatric population. Regular long-term follow-up with dedicated surveillance angiography is recommended even after obliteration following resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • AVM
  • arteriovenous malformations
  • obliteration
  • pediatric
  • recurrence
  • vascular disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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