BACKGROUND: It has been well established that Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) is an effective treatment for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate complete obliteration rates for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–based GKS treatment planning performed with and without angiography and to conduct a preliminary assessment of the utility of using pulsed arterial spin labeling (PASL) magnetic resonance (MR) perfusion imaging to confirm complete obliteration.
METHODS: Forty-six patients were identified who had undergone GKS without embolization with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. One group was planned with integrated stereotactic angiography and MR (spoiled gradient recalled) images obtained on the day of GKS. A second technique avoided the risk of arteriography by using only axial MR images. Beginning in 2007, PASL MR perfusion imaging was routinely performed as a portion of the follow-up MRI to assess the restoration of normal blood flow of the nidus and surrounding area.
RESULTS: The overall obliteration rate for the angiography/MRI group was 88.0% (29 of 33). Patients in the MRI-only group had an obliteration rate of 61.5% (8 of 13), with P = .092 with the Fisher exact test, which is not statistically significant. A Kaplan-Meier analysis was also not statistically significant (log rank test, P = .474). Four of 9 patients with incomplete obliteration on angiography also had shown residual abnormal blood flow on PASL imaging.
CONCLUSION: This retrospective analysis shows that treatment planning technique used in GKS does not play a role in the eventual obliteration of treated AVMs. PASL may have potential in the evaluation of AVM obliteration.
ABBREVIATIONS: AVM, arteriovenous malformation
GKS, Gamma Knife radiosurgery
PASL, pulsed arterial spin labeling
Departments of *Neurosurgery and
§Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Correspondence: Kwame Amponsah, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston Salem, NC 27157. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received December 17, 2011
Accepted June 20, 2012