Gamma Knife Therapy

AVMs have been treated successfully with focused radiation therapy. The Gamma Knife is a radiation therapy instrument that delivers several beams of radiation to a precise target. Each individual beam delivers a relatively small radiation dose to brain tissue. However, when the beams converge at the site of an AVM, the radiation dose is sufficient to produce damage. The blood vessels within the AVM degenerate and the adjacent tissue may be scarred as well (Fig. 10). This procedure has been used to obliterate AVMs that are located in surgically inaccessible areas of the brain. The risks of surgery, angiography, and endovascular therapy are avoided. Other vascular abnormalities such as aneurysms may be treated using the Gamma Knife. This technique represents a substantial advance in the available options for treating AVMs and other vascular anomalies

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