Evaluation of pediatric patients with vascular malformations managed with endovascular and radiosurgical techniques using a modified Rankin disability scale

Caleb E. Feliciano, Rafael Rodríguez-Mercado


Background: Pre- and postoperative evaluation of the pediatric patient with a cerebrovascular malformation can be cumbersome. This may be due to several factors, including age and ability to verbalize. Functional evaluation scales have been devised, yet application to a retrospective study, where information can be limited, may not be possible. Simpler scales, serving the purpose of functional description and categorization would be beneficial in these cases. Methods: Between December 1997 and December 2003, 24 patients between the ages of 4 months to 17 years old underwent endovascular treatment for cerebrovascular lesions at our institution. The majority of the arteriovenous malformation cases underwent further radiosurgical treatment. Mean follow-up period from the time of the last endovascular or radiosurgical intervention was 22 months. A pediatric modification of the Rankin Disability Scale was used for evaluation of pre-procedural and post-procedural functional status. Results: Combined embolization/radiosurgical approach had 4% mortality and 4% morbidity rates. This combined technique achieved a 46% cure in a variety of pediatric vascular anomalies. Overall improvement in disability using the pediatric modification of the Rankin Scale was noted for all of the cases, and a tendency for improvement was noted in the arteriovenous malformation subgroup though not statistically significant, p = 0.0547. Conclusions: These results indicate that a pediatric modification of the Rankin Disability Scale can be used for functional evaluation in this population. Although other functional evaluation scales are available and validated, using a Rankin Disability Scale modification is straightforward, and it can provide functional categorization in retrospective studies.


Cerebrovascular disease; Rankin Disability Scale; Pediatric patient

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