Embolization as stand-alone strategy for pediatric low-grade brain arteriovenous malformations.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis


washington; swedish; swedish neuro


OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the safety and efficacy of endovascular embolization as first-line stand-alone strategy for the treatment of low-grade brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) (Spetzler Martin [SM] grade I and II) in pediatric patients. In addition, we assessed the predictors of procedure-related complications and radiographic complete obliteration in a single session.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted a single center retrospective cohort study of all pediatric (≤18 years) patients who underwent embolization as a stand-alone strategy for low-grade bAVMs between 2010 and 2022. Safety was measured by procedure-related complications and mortality. Efficacy was defined as complete angiographic obliteration after the last embolization session.

RESULTS: Sixty-eight patients (41 females; median age 14 years) underwent a total of 102 embolization sessions. There were 24 (35%) SM grade I lesions and 44 (65%) grade II. Six procedure-related complications (5.8% of procedures) were observed and no deaths were reported. All the complications were intraoperative nidus ruptures. A single draining vein was the only significant predictor of procedure-related complications (OR=0.10; 95% CI 0.01 - 0.72; p=0.048). Complete angiographic obliteration was achieved in 44 patients (65%). In 35 patients (51%) the bAVM was completely occluded in one session. The bAVM nidal size was a predictor of complete obliteration in one session (OR=0.44; 95% CI, 0.21-0.80; p=0.017).

CONCLUSION: Endovascular treatment as a stand-alone strategy for pediatric low-grade bAVMs is an adequate first-line approach in high volume centers with endovascular expertise. Nidal size evaluation is relevant in order to optimize patient selection for embolization as a stand-alone treatment modality.

Clinical Institute

Women & Children

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)