OBJECTIVE: Occipital lobe arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) provide challenging management decisions because of their proximity to the visual cortex and optic radiations. Preservation of visual function throughout treatment is the mainstay of therapeutic planning. We reviewed visual field (VF) outcomes of all patients who received curative treatment for occipital AVMs at Stanford University to evaluate the efficacy of different treatment strategies. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of 55 patients with occipital AVMs treated at Stanford University between 1984 and 2003. Clinical presentation, AVM morphology, and treatment modality were correlated with VF function before and after therapeutic intervention. RESULTS: Of 55 patients, 48 (87.3%) underwent multimodality AVM treatment (7 patients < 3 yr from radiosurgery were excluded from final analysis). One patient died from intracerebral hemorrhage 11 months post-radiosurgery, and five patients deferred further treatment. Forty-two patients (87.5%) were cured, with no residual AVM on final angiography. Curative therapeutic modalities used included embolization alone (2 patients), microsurgery alone (6 patients), microsurgery with radiosurgery (1 patient), microsurgery with embolization (23 patients), radiosurgery with embolization (4 patients), and embolization with radiosurgery and microsurgery (6 patients). Mean follow-up was 5.8 years including treatment. VF follow-up was available in all 42 patients. Twenty-eight (66.7%) patients experienced no change in VFs, six (14.3%) patients with previously abnormal VFs improved, and eight (19.0%) patients showed worsening of VFs (although none developed a new homonymous VF deficit). Duration of treatment was related to VF outcome in patients who presented without a history of AVM-related hemorrhage. CONCLUSION: Occipital AVMs can be safely cured using multimodality strategies with minimal risk to visual function despite the proximity of these lesions to the visual cortex and associated pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology