Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine




Background Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) remains a critical intervention in the long-term management of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). For planning a treatment, identification of the nidus is essential, and it is dependent on high-resolution blood flow imaging, usually in the form of a traditional angiogram. The development of dynamic 320-slice computed tomography (CT) angiography has offered a noninvasive alternative to intra-arterial fluoroscopic imaging, and it is capable of providing equivalent temporal resolution. In this study, we describe the feasibility of using four-dimensional CT angiography (4D-CTA) in GKRS planning for AVM treatment and a comparative analysis with a traditional angiogram. Methods A retrospective review was performed on AVM patients treated via GKRS with a 4D-CTA prior to the day of treatment, on the day of treatment, or with a day-of-treatment angiogram. Treatment times, along with total times in the Leksell® coordinate frame G, were obtained from the medical records. The frame-on time was calculated by subtracting the treatment time from the total time starting from application to removal, and the statistical analysis was performed across groups using analysis of variance (ANOVA). All treatments were performed on the Perfexion™ model with a dynamic flow imaging procured via a 320-slice CT scanner or traditional angiography platform. Results Some 27 patients underwent a total of 29 GKRS procedures for AVM treatment at our institution between September 2011 and January 2017. Mean age at the time of treatment was 35.5 (6-65) years, and male:female ratio was 5:4. Some 12 patients had 4D-CTA performed prior to the day of treatment, eight patients had the same CTA completed after frame placement on the day of treatment, while seven patients underwent traditional angiography. The mean frame-on times of each group were 190, 336, and 426 minutes, respectively (p < 0.0001). No procedures were aborted based on the image quality. Conclusions 4D-CTA is an effective tool in identifying the AVM nidus for GKRS planning. These studies can be performed prior to the day of treatment, allowing for a significant reduction in frame-on time and eliminating the risk of angiogram complication on the day of GKRS.

Source Citation

Cifarelli CP, Vargo JA, Tenenholz T, Hack JD, Guthrie G, Carpenter JS. Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Arteriovenous Malformations Using a Four-Dimensional Dynamic Volume Computed Tomography Angiography Planning System as an Alternative to Traditional Catheter Angiogram. Cureus. June 2018. doi:10.7759/cureus.2788