Functional outcome after pediatric cerebral cavernous malformation surgery

The purpose of this study was to investigate the functional outcome following surgical resection of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) in pediatric patients. We screened our institutional database of CCM patients treated between 2003 and 2021. Inclusion regarded individuals younger or equal than 18 years of age with complete clinical baseline characteristics, magnetic resonance imaging dataset, and postoperative follow-up time of at least three months. Functional outcome was quantified using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score and assessed at admission, discharge, and last follow-up examination. The primary endpoint was the postoperative functional outcome. As a secondary endpoint, predictors of postoperative functional deterioration were assessed. A total of 49 pediatric patients with a mean age of 11.3 ± 5.7 years were included for subsequent analyses. Twenty individuals (40.8%) were female. Complete resection of the lesion was achieved in 44 patients (89.8%), and two patients with incomplete resection were referred for successive remnant removal. The mean follow-up time after surgery was 44 months (IQR: 13 – 131). The mean mRS score was 1.6 on admission, 1.7 at discharge, and 0.9 at the latest follow-up. Logistic regression analysis adjusted to age and sex identified brainstem localization (aOR = 53.45 [95%CI = 2.26 − 1261.81], p = .014) as a predictor of postoperative deterioration. This study indicates that CCM removal in children can be regarded as safe and favorable for the majority of patients, depending on lesion localization. Brainstem localization implies a high risk of postoperative morbidity and indication for surgery should be balanced carefully. Minor evidence indicates that second-look surgery for CCM remnants might be safe and favorable.


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