Control of epilepsy associated with cerebral arteriovenous malformations after radiosurgery

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate the effect of radiosurgery for symptomatic epilepsy associated with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Methods

Thirty five patients with unruptured epileptogenic AVMs were studied with a mean follow up of 43.0 months. The duration of epilepsy before radiosurgery ranged from 2 months to 21 years (mean 2.8 years). Fifteen patients showed partial seizures; eight of these had associated secondary generalisation. The remaining 20 patients showed only generalised seizures without preceding focal seizures.

Results

At the final follow up examination, 28 patients remained seizure free, whereas seizures continued in seven. Variables significantly associated with continuity of seizures after radiosurgery were the number of seizures before therapy (p<0.01) and duration of epilepsy (p<0.05). According to Engel's classification, the 10 patients with intractable seizures before treatment included five with grade I, four with grade III, and one with grade IV. The frequency of seizures began to decrease several months after radiosurgery; much shorter than the time required for morphological change in the AVMs.

Conclusions

Radiosurgery seems to be beneficial for seizure control in patients with unruptured epileptogenic AVM.

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