Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Pediatric Versus Adult Brain Arteriovenous Malformations [Original Contributions]

Background and Purpose—The aim of this international, multicenter, retrospective matched cohort study is to directly compare the outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) in pediatric versus adult patients.Methods—We performed a retrospective review of patients with AVM who underwent SRS at 8 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation from 1987 to 2014. Patients were categorized into pediatric (<18 years of age) and adult (≥18 years of age) cohorts and matched in a 1:1 ratio using propensity scores. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes.Results—From a total of 2191 patients who were eligible for inclusion in the overall study cohort, 315 were selected for each of the matched cohorts. There were no significant differences between matched pediatric versus adult cohorts with respect to the rates of favorable outcome (59% versus 58%; P=0.936), AVM obliteration (62% versus 63%; P=0.934), post-SRS hemorrhage (9% versus 7%; P=0.298), radiological radiation-induced changes (26% versus 26%; P=0.837), symptomatic radiation-induced changes (7% versus 9%; P=0.383), or permanent radiation-induced changes (2% versus 3%; P=0.589). The all-cause mortality rate was significantly lower in the matched pediatric cohort (3% versus 10%; P=0.003).Conclusions—The outcomes after SRS for comparable AVMs in pediatric versus adult patients were not found to be appreciably different. SRS remains a reasonable treatment option for appropriately selected pediatric patients with AVM, who harbor a high cumulative lifetime hemorrhage risk. Age seems to be a poor predictor of AVM outcomes after SRS.