Case illustration of a 17-year-old adolescent boy with a frontal arteriovenous malformation. He developed new seizures 6 months following stereotactic radiosurgery. MR imaging (A) shows an area of increased FLAIR signal change. The FLAIR changes increased and peaked at 12 months (B). At 18 months (C), there were persistent but reduced FLAIR changes, and at 24 months (D), these imaging changes had resolved.


T2 signal and FLAIR changes in patients undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery for brain AVMs may occur posttreatment and could result in adverse radiation effects. We aimed to evaluate outcomes in patients with these imaging changes, the frequency and degree of this response, and factors associated with it.


Through this retrospective cohort study, consecutive patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery for brain AVMs who had at least 1 year of follow-up MR imaging were identified. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate predictors of outcomes.


One-hundred-sixty AVMs were treated in 148 patients (mean, 35.6 years of age), including 42 (26.2%) pediatric AVMs. The mean MR imaging follow-up was 56.5 months. The median Spetzler-Martin grade was III. The mean maximal AVM diameter was 2.8 cm, and the mean AVM target volume was 7.4 mL. The median radiation dose was 16.5 Gy. New T2 signal and FLAIR hyperintensity were noted in 40% of AVMs. T2 FLAIR volumes at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months were, respectively, 4.04, 55.47, 56.42, 48.06, and 29.38 mL Radiation-induced neurologic symptoms were encountered in 34.4%. In patients with radiation-induced imaging changes, 69.2% had new neurologic symptoms versus 9.5% of patients with no imaging changes (P = .0001). Imaging changes were significantly associated with new neurologic findings (P < .001). Larger AVM maximal diameter (P = .04) and the presence of multiple feeding arteries (P = .01) were associated with radiation-induced imaging changes.


Radiation-induced imaging changes are common following linear particle accelerator–based stereotactic radiosurgery for brain AVMs, appear to peak at 12 months, and are significantly associated with new neurologic findings.

Read this article: https://bit.ly/3sRjOZ2


Jeffrey Ross

• Mayo Clinic, Phoenix

Dr. Jeffrey S. Ross is a Professor of Radiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and practices neuroradiology at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. His publications include over 100 peer-reviewed articles, nearly 60 non-refereed articles, 33 book chapters, and 10 books. He was an AJNR Senior Editor from 2006-2015, is a member of the editorial board for 3 other journals, and a manuscript reviewer for 10 journals. He became Editor-in-Chief of the AJNR in July 2015. He received the Gold Medal Award from the ASSR in 2013.

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