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Morphometric characterization of brain arteriovenous malformations for clinical and radiological studies to identify silent intralesional microhemorrhages.

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Brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) are vascular lesions that can cause significant morbidity and mortality, particularly when they bleed, i.e., rupture. Determining the risk of rupture for bAVMs is a crucial task to determine the most appropriate approach to patients with bAVM. Furthermore, patients who present with a hemorrhagic event also have a higher risk of subsequent hemorrhage. Determination of the hemorrhage risk and management strategy for incidentally discovered bAVMs still remains a controversial subject. In recent years, we have identified silent intralesional microhemorrhages (SIMs) as a possible risk factor for subsequent hemorrhage in patients with bAVMs. The principal aim of this study was to determine critical histological features that can be correlated with preoperative radioimaging findings, and allow better identification of patients with greater risk of adverse outcome. Here we provide a detailed descriptive analysis of the morphometric assessment of bAVMs in order to provide reproducible methodology that will aid in correlating preoperative radioimaging findings with histological features that may be significantly associated with increased risk of hemorrhage/rupture.

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