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Is intervention beneficial for brain vessel malformations?
Date:4/1/2009

NEW YORK (April 1, 2009) -- Individuals diagnosed with a brain arteriovenous malformation (BAVM) -- an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins -- are at increased risk of vessel rupture and bleeding that can cause permanent brain damage. Traditionally, doctors have prescribed preventive interventions like surgery, but there is suggestive evidence that this invasive approach may actually increase risk of a rupture, at least in some patients.

Now, physician-scientists at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital are the principal investigators of an ongoing international, multicenter, NIH-funded study examining whether intervention or a hands-off approach is best for the two-thirds of individuals with a BAVM that has not bled.

"Before modern imaging was widely available, most BAVMs were discovered only after they had bled. At that time it was generally assumed that the few patients discovered with the condition that had not bled would require prophylactic intervention, but there was no conclusive evidence. This study will help answer this question," says Dr. Timothy A. Pedley, neurologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The clinical trial, called "A Randomized Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformation (ARUBA)," is comparing the best possible invasive treatment strategy (any combination of endovascular, neurosurgical or radiation therapy) for unbled BAVM randomized against noninvasive medical management. The trial will recruit 800 patients to see whether invasive treatment or noninvasive management reduces the risk of death or symptomatic stroke over five years. There are more than 100 participating sites in the U.S. and around the world.

Previous research, including studies conducted by NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia
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Contact: Jennifer Homa
jeh9057@nyp.org
212-305-5587
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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