Surgical treatment of symptomatic cavernous malformations of the brainstem
Authors: Sola, R. G.; Pulido, P.; Pastor, J.; Ochoa, M.; Castedo, J.
Source: Acta Neurochirurgica, Volume 149, Number 5, May 2007 , pp. 463-470(8)
Abstract:Introduction and objectives. Cavernous malformations (CM) at the level of the brainstem, continue to present a challenge in therapeutic terms and are an important source of controversy. Here we present our experience and the results obtained by adopting surgical treatment.
Materials and methods. The results of a consecutive series of 17 patients were studied. The surgical intervention was designed after: 1. A neurological examination. 2. MRI and cerebral angiography. 3. Correlation with anatomical brainstem maps. The surgical intervention was approached from the most damaged zone or through a zone which was functionally least important.
Results. Complete extirpation was achieved in 15 patients without mortality. In a few patients the surgical intervention temporarily aggravated the prior lesion of the cranial nerves (2/17) or damage new sensory tracts (2/17). The functional post-operative recovery was good, in terms of consciousness (4/5), cranial nerves (11/17), the pyramidal tract (3/5) and the cerebellum (2/4). Of the patients that were operated, 14 of 17 returned to their professional activities.
Conclusions. The results of surgery can surpass the morbidity–mortality of the natural history or treatment with radiosurgery. There is a clear consensus in recommending surgical intervention for CMs that are superficially located, in young patients and in those with a risk of further bleeding. It is probably best that the surgery is performed during the subacute period, when the MRI offers a clear image confirming the presence of the CM.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-05-01