Microsurgery Versus Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Arteriovenous Malformations: A Matched Cohort Study

Ching Jen Chen, Dale Ding, Tony R. Wang, Thomas J. Buell, Adeel Ilyas, Natasha Ironside, Cheng Chia Lee, M. Yashar Kalani, Min S. Park, Kenneth C. Liu, Jason P. Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Microsurgery (MS) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) remain the preferred interventions for the curative treatment of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM), but their relative efficacy remains incompletely defined. OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of MS to SRS for AVMs through a retrospective, matched cohort study. METHODS: We evaluated institutional databases of AVM patients who underwent MS and SRS. MS-treated patients were matched, in a 1:1 ratio based on patient and AVM characteristics, to SRS-treated patients. Statistical analyses were performed to compare outcomes data between the 2 cohorts. The primary outcome was defined as AVM obliteration without a new permanent neurological deficit. RESULTS: The matched MS and SRS cohorts were each comprised of 59 patients. Both radiological (85 vs 11 mo; P < .001) and clinical (92 vs 12 mo; P < .001) follow-up were significantly longer for the SRS cohort. The primary outcome was achieved in 69% of each cohort. The MS cohort had a significantly higher obliteration rate (98% vs 72%; P = .001), but also had a significantly higher rate of new permanent deficit (31% vs 10%; P= .011). The post-treatment hemorrhage rate was significantly higher for the SRS cohort (10% for SRS vs 0%forMS; P=.027). In subgroup analyses of ruptured and unruptured AVMs, no significant differences between the primary outcomes were observed. CONCLUSION: For patients with comparable AVMs, MS and SRS afford similar rates of deficit-free obliteration. Nidal obliteration is more frequently achieved with MS, but this intervention also incurs a greater risk of new permanent neurological deficit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-707
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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