An approach to the symbolic representation of brain arteriovenous malformations for management and treatment planning.
Orlowski P., Mahmud I., Kamran M., Summers P., Noble A., Ventikos Y., Byrne JV.
INTRODUCTION: There is currently no standardised approach to arteriovenous malformation (AVM) reporting. Existing AVM classification systems focuses on angioarchitectural features and omit haemodynamic, anatomical and topological parameters intuitively used by therapists. METHODS: We introduce a symbolic vocabulary to represent the state of an AVM of the brain at different stages of treatment. The vocabulary encompasses the main anatomic and haemodynamic features of interest in treatment planning and provides shorthand symbols to represent the interventions themselves in a schematic representation. RESULTS: The method was presented to 50 neuroradiologists from 14 countries during a workshop and graded 7.34 ± 1.92 out of ten for its usefulness as means of standardising and facilitating communication between clinicians and allowing comparisons between AVM cases. Feedback from the survey was used to revise the method and improve its completeness. For an AVM test case, participants were asked to produce a conventional written report and subsequently a diagrammatic report. The two required, on average, 6.19 ± 2.05 and 5.09 ± 3.01 min, respectively. Eighteen participants said that producing the diagram changed the way they thought about the AVM test case. CONCLUSION: Introduced into routine practice, the diagrams would represent a step towards a standardised approach to AVM reporting with consequent benefits for comparative analysis and communication as well as for identifying best treatment strategies.