Harvey W. Cushing and cerebrovascular surgery: Part II, vascular malformations

Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Dennis D. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations


The surgical treatment of cerebrovascular malformations intrigued early neurosurgeons. Cushing defined vascular malformations as tumors arising from cerebral blood vessels. He successfully resected the first arteriovenous malformation 3 years after it had been irradiated. In the absence of angiography, the pathoanatomy of these lesions remained elusive and early techniques such as cortical vein ligation proved catastrophic. Cushing demonstrated the favorable results of radiation treatments on vascular malformations and advocated decompressive craniectomy followed by radiotherapy. He ligated cortical feeding vessels and external carotid arteries with an improved understanding of the angioarchitecture of vascular malformations. He stressed the importance of preoperative diagnosis because the radical resection of nonirradiated vascular malformations challenged the limitations of the available neurosurgical armamentarium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Cerebrovascular surgery
  • Harvey Cushing
  • History of neurosurgery
  • Vascular malformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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