Background: spontaneous obliteration of cerebral arteriovenous malformations is uncommon but could occur after partial embolization.
Materials and methods:
A retrospective study of 140 patients that underwent embolization for cerebral AVMs from 2005 to August 2019 using liquid embolic agents. The angiographic outcome of patients was classified as regard complete embolization, partial embolization, and complete obliteration after partial embolization. The parameters studied included size, location, number of arterial feeders, number of draining veins, rupture status, embolic agent, and patient factors as well.
Results: The study patients included 74 (53%) females and 66 (47%) males. Their age ranged from 7 to 43 years old. One hundred and eight patients (77%) presented with hemorrhage. The AVM grades were grade II in 57 (40.7%) patients and grade III in 56 (39.3%) patients. Sixty-one (43.57%) patients were treated by n-Butyl Cyanoacrylate and 71(50.71%) patients were treated with Onyx, and both materials were used together in 8 cases. Follow-up angiography was done from 6 to 36 months after embolization. The rate of complete occlusion in all patients was 61.43% (86 patients). There were three groups of patients, the first group had complete occlusion of the nidus at the time of embolization and included 68 (48.57%) patients. The second group had partial embolization with partial occlusion of the nidus 54 patients (38.57%). The 3rd group included 18 patients (12.85%) with complete nidal occlusion on follow up after partial embolization.
The delay in the venous drainage of the AVM to the late arterial phase or early venous phase with flow stasis was a significant predictor of future obliteration on follow up after partial embolization. Other significant parameters that were associated with the progressive disappearance of the AVM nidus on follow up after partial embolization are presentation with hemorrhage, AVMs size less than 3 cm, the presence of single draining or double draining veins, superficial venous drainage, and one or 2 arterial feeders.
Conclusion: spontaneous closure of intracranial arteriovenous malformations after partial embolization may be encountered in cases of stasis of flow during embolization procedure with a delay of the venous drainage. A long-term follow-up of more cases over many years is required to confirm the validity of this conclusion.