Endovascular treatment in the multimodality management of brain arteriovenous malformations: report of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery Standards and Guidelines Committee

Reade De Leacy, Sameer A. Ansari, Clemens M. Schirmer, Daniel L. Cooke, Charles J. Prestigiacomo, Ketan R. Bulsara, Steven W. Hetts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background The purpose of this review is to summarize the data available for the role of angiography and embolization in the comprehensive multidisciplinary management of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs Methods We performed a structured literature review for studies examining the indications, efficacy, and outcomes for patients undergoing endovascular therapy in the context of brain AVM management. We graded the quality of the evidence. Recommendations were arrived at through a consensus conference of the authors, then with additional input from the full Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) Standards and Guidelines Committee and the SNIS Board of Directors. Results The multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment of brain AVMs continues to evolve. Recommendations include: (1) Digital subtraction catheter cerebral angiography (DSA) - including 2D, 3D, and reformatted cross-sectional views when appropriate - is recommended in the pre-treatment assessment of cerebral AVMs. (I, B-NR). (2) It is recommended that endovascular embolization of cerebral arteriovenous malformations be performed in the context of a complete multidisciplinary treatment plan aiming for obliteration of the AVM and cure. (I, B-NR). (3) Embolization of brain AVMs before surgical resection can be useful to reduce intraoperative blood loss, morbidity, and surgical complexity. (IIa, B-NR). (4) The role of primary curative embolization of cerebral arteriovenous malformations is uncertain, particularly as compared with microsurgery and radiosurgery with or without adjunctive embolization. Further research is needed, particularly with regard to risk for AVM recurrence. (III equivocal, C-LD). (5) Targeted embolization of high-risk features of ruptured brain AVMs may be considered to reduce the risk for recurrent hemorrhage. (IIb, C-LD). (6) Palliative embolization may be useful to treat symptomatic AVMs in which curative therapy is otherwise not possible. (IIb, B-NR). (7) The role of AVM embolization as an adjunct to radiosurgery is not well-established. Further research is needed. (III equivocal, C-LD). (8) Imaging follow-up after apparent cure of brain AVMs is recommended to assess for recurrence. Although non-invasive imaging may be used for longitudinal follow-up, DSA remains the gold standard for residual or recurrent AVM detection in patients with concerning imaging and/or clinical findings. (I, C-LD). (9) Improved national and international reporting of patients of all ages with brain AVMs, their treatments, side effects from treatment, and their long-term outcomes would enhance the ability to perform clinical trials and improve the rigor of research into this rare condition. (I, C-EO). Conclusions Although the quality of evidence is lower than for more common conditions subjected to multiple randomized controlled trials, endovascular therapy has an important role in the management of brain AVMs. Prospective studies are needed to strengthen the data supporting these recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1124
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of NeuroInterventional Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - 12 Apr 2022


  • Angiography
  • Brain
  • Embolic
  • Malformation
  • Standards


Dive into the research topics of 'Endovascular treatment in the multimodality management of brain arteriovenous malformations: report of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery Standards and Guidelines Committee'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this