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Recurrence of a cerebral arteriovenous malformation after surgical excision. Case report.

Complete excision of a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) should eliminate the future risk of an associated intracranial hemorrhage. Because total removal of an AVM may be difficult to assess at the time of surgery, postoperative angiography has become the accepted standard for documenting that the removal has been accomplished. However, even angiography confirmed excision of an AVM does not completely ensure against rebleeding. Regrowth of an AVM with subsequent hemorrhage can occur. This has been documented in children and is attributed to forces acting on the immature vasculature of these younger patients. The authors report the case of an older patient whose AVM recurred when he was 28 years of age, despite an angiography proven complete excision, and emphasize that, even in adults, angiography documentation of total removal does not always eliminate the risk of reformation of an AVM.

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