Neurosurgical vascular malformations in children under 1 year of age

Graciela Zuccaro, Romina ArgaƱaraz, Francisco Villasante, Alejandro Ceciliano
Child's Nervous System: ChNS: Official Journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery 2010, 26 (10): 1381-94

PURPOSE: This study aims to analyze the clinical and radiological findings, timing and type of treatment, and outcome in children under 1 year of age that presented with neurosurgical vascular malformations.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 23 children under 1 year of age with neurosurgical vascular malformations was performed at a single institution between 1999 and 2009.

RESULTS: The lesions found in this age group were: 10 vein of Galen aneurysmal malformations (VGAMs), 5 arteriovenous malformations (AVM), 2 pial arteriovenous fistulas (AVF; 1 in the brain and 1 in the spinal cord), 2 cavernous malformations, 2 dural sinus malformations (DSMs) in the posterior fossa with negative angiography which after surgery turned out to be embryonal malformations of dural sinuses, 1 sacular aneurysm, and 1 dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) that drained toward the vein of Galen. Of the 10 patients with VGAM, 8 presented choroidal type and 2 mural type. Two patients with choroidal VGAM were born in dramatically severe clinical condition; therefore, we decided to withhold aggressive treatment, and they died within 48 h after birth. The other eight patients with choroidal VGAM received endovascular treatment between 1 and 3 staged embolizations. In four of them, total occlusion was achieved and subtotal and partial in the others. One patient had complications and evolved with severe developmental delay. Another patient with partial occlusion died, and another patient with previous developmental delay stopped treatment because of parental decision making. Five patients evolved with normal development and one with mild delay. Only one patient required shunt. Hydrocephalus was solved after endovascular treatment in the rest of the patients. Regarding the five AVMs, four were treated with microsurgical approach achieving total resection of the lesion and normal developmental milestones except for one patient with brainstem AVM that was admitted with quadriparesis and coma. In the patient with basal ganglia AVM, the lesion spontaneously disappeared. From the two pial AVFs, the frontal one was microsurgically treated and the spinal one received endovascular session achieving 50% of lesion occlusion for which further treatment is needed. The two cavernous malformations were operated achieving total resection with normal development. The two children with DSM received surgical resection without complications and normal development. The rare case of sacular aneurysm at this age was occluded at the time of diagnostic procedure due to the bad clinical condition of the patient and the hematoma was removed immediately in the operating room. The only case of DAVF died of respiratory intercurrence after three sessions of endovascular treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: In this neonatal age group (first year of life), we can find the whole range of neurosurgical vascular pathology: VGAM, AVM, cavernous malformation, DSM, pial AVF, DAVF, and sacular aneurysm. VGAM is the most frequent vascular malformation during the first year of age. The early treatment of vascular malformations prevents its adverse effects on a developing brain. A multidisciplinary team composed by endovascular and surgical specialists is necessary to discuss and treat each case.

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