OBJECTIVE: Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation (VGAM) is a rare fetal anomaly, the neurological outcome of which can be good with appropriate perinatal management. However, most fetal series are too small to allow reliable statistical assessment of potential prognostic indicators. Our aim was to assess, in a two-center series of 49 cases, the prognostic value of several prenatal variables, in order to identify possible prenatal indicators of poor outcome, in terms of mortality and cerebral disability.
METHODS: This was a retrospective study involving 49 cases of VGAM diagnosed prenatally and managed at two centers over a 17-year period (1999-2015). All cases had undergone detailed prenatal cerebral and cardiac assessment by grayscale ultrasound, color and pulsed-wave Doppler and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Ultrasound and MRI examination reports and images were reviewed and outcome information was obtained from medical reports. Volume of the VGAM (on ultrasound and MRI) was calculated and development of straight-sinus dilatation, ventriculomegaly and other major brain abnormalities was noted. Cardiothoracic ratio, tricuspid regurgitation and reversed blood flow across the aortic isthmus were evaluated on fetal echocardiography. Major brain lesions were considered by definition to be associated with poor outcome in all cases. Pregnancy and fetoneonatal outcome were known in all cases. Fetoneonatal outcome and brain damage were considered as dependent variables in the statistical evaluation. Poor outcome was defined as death, late termination of pregnancy due to association with related severe brain anomalies or severe neurological impairment.
RESULTS: At a mean follow-up time of 20 (range, 0-72) months, 36.7% of the whole series and 52.9% of the cases which did not undergo late termination were alive and free of adverse sequelae. Five (10.2%) cases showed progression of the lesion between diagnosis and delivery. On univariate analysis, dilatation of the straight sinus, VGAM volume ≥ 20 000 mm3 and tricuspid regurgitation were all significantly related to poor outcome. However, on logistic regression analysis, the only variables associated significantly with poor outcome were tricuspid regurgitation and, to a lesser extent, VGAM volume ≥ 20 000 mm3 . The former was also the only variable associated with brain damage.
CONCLUSIONS: Major brain lesions, tricuspid regurgitation and, to a lesser extent, VGAM volume ≥ 20 000 mm3 are the only prenatal variables associated with poor outcome in fetal VGAM. Prenatal multidisciplinary counseling should be based on these variables. Copyright © 2016 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- Journal Article