Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are congenital vascular anomalies of the brain that consist of complex connections between arteries and veins that lack the intervening capillary bed. They form a tangled collection of abnormal arteries and veins, known as the nidus of the AVM.
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery (GKS) is a current treatment option for people who have a brain AVM. However, has a failure rate of 20 – 30% and a delay to vessel occlusion of up to 2 – 3 years. Over 20,000 Australians are affected by brain AVMs and over 90% of large lesions are either untreatable, or treatable only with unacceptably high risk.
This project utilises in vivo imaging to study the changes of endothelial membrane proteins of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in response to GKS, and identification of molecular targets localisation and level of expression to further enhance the development of a vascular targeting strategy to induce thrombosis in an animal model of human brain AVM. Our general hypothesis is that GKS can be used to alter AVM endothelium cell surface characteristics. Assessing these changes using in vivo imaging approach will enable our project to identify potential vascular targets to be used in order to promote thrombosis rapidly and specifically in AVM vessels.
The overall aim of this project is to develop a new treatment for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) that is safer and more effective than the current methods of surgery and radiosurgery, using biological methods to promote intravascular thrombosis after radiosurgery.