Brain reorganization after endovascular treatment in a patient with a large arteriovenous malformation: the role of diagnostic and functional neuroimaging techniques

Roberta La Piana, Samuel Bourassa-Blanchette, Denise Klein, Kelvin Mok, Maria Del Pilar Cortes Nino, Donatella Tampieri
Interventional Neuroradiology 2013, 19 (3): 329-38
We describe a case of brain cortical reorganization after embolization of a large right temporal arteriovenous malformation. A comprehensive imaging protocol, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), cortical thickness analysis and 320-row computed tomography (CT) perfusion was used to provide information on brain plasticity and potential steal phenomenon. A 25-year-old man known for a right temporal grade V Spetzler-Martin classification arteriovenous malformation (AVM) presented with left progressive hemiparesis. He underwent functional 3T magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), cortical thickness analysis, and CT perfusion (CT 320 row, Aquilion ONE, Toshiba, Tokyo, Japan) before and after endovascular treatment. The results were compared to look for modifications in brain perfusion and organization. An improvement in the left hemiparesis and a reorganization of motor function were observed after endovascular treatment. Modifications in the angioarchitecture and perfusion of an extensive AVM may be accompanied by a functional and structural reorganization of the brain. The location in the so-called eloquent regions may not be sufficient to explain the wide spectrum of symptoms that these patients can present. A more comprehensive approach considering a global involvement of the brain in patients with large AVMs is suggested to achieve the best treatment strategy and to stage treatment in incurable AVMs.

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