3/2023 4/2023

Scalp arteriovenous malformations – 20 years of experience in a tertiary healthcare centre

R. I. Pongeluppi1, R. A. Monteiro Cardoso1, E. L. Zucoloto Jr1, M. F. M. Ballestero2, R. Santos de Oliveira1, D. G. Abud3, J. A. Farina Jr4, B. O. Colli1

1 Division of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil
2 Department of Medicine, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil
3 Department of Neuroscience and Behavioral Sciences, University Hospital, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil
4 Division of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil


Background: Scalp arteriovenous malformations (SAVM) are extremely uncommon vascular malformations, with only ~200 cases published in the English language in the past years. The objective of the present study was to describe the experience of a single reference service in neurosurgery. Methods: This is a descriptive and retrospective study conducted at our institution, which included cases of SAVM treated between 2001 and 2022. All information were extracted from the medical records of our institution. Patient confidentiality was preserved. Furthermore, an illustrative case has been described in detail. Results: Seven patients were included. The male-to-female ratio was 2.5: 1 and the mean age was 23.3 (3–42) years. Most cases (56.4%) were spontaneous and the lesions were located in the frontal (28.7%) and parietal (28.7%) regions. All lesions were supplied by more than one feeder, with the superficial temporal and occipital arteries being the most commonly involved (71.5%). Six patients underwent preoperative embolization, and 56.4% patients had scalp necrosis. Five patients underwent surgical resection, all without recurrence and with good postoperative evolution. Conclusions: More than one artery was involved in all cases, and the properties of the involved vessel influences the approach strategy. Surgical treatment is curative, and preoperative embolization helps reduce bleeding during the surgery. Complete resection of the lesions prevents associated complications, such as bleeding or recurrence. Scalp necrosis is a frequent complication in the treatment of these lesions, and a multidisciplinary approach involving reconstructive plastic surgery should always be considered.

Key words

scalp vascular malformations – reconstructive surgery

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