Our purpose was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of endovascular treatment of brain-stem arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), reviewing six cases managed in the last 5 years. There were four patients who presented with bleeding, one with a progressive neurological deficit and one with obstructive hydrocephalus. Of the six patients, one showed 100%, one 90%, two 75% and two about 50% angiographic obliteration of the AVM after embolisation; the volume decreased about 75% on average. Five patients had a good outcome and one an acceptable outcome, with a mild postprocedure neurological deficit; none had further bleeding during midterm follow-up. Endovascular management of a brain-stem AVM may be an alternative to treatment such as radiosurgery and microsurgery in selected cases. It may be not as risky as previously thought. Embolisation can reduce the size of the AVM and possibly make it more treatable by radiosurgery and decrease the possibility of radiation injury.
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