BACKGROUND: In a previous study, the authors outlined a technique for calculating the number of abnormal vascular loop structures described in 3-dimensional computed tomography angiography. To be developed into a quantitative evaluation method for soft-tissue arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), the concept needs assessment of validity. METHODS: Computed tomography angiography results of 19 soft-tissue AVMs and 18 control abdominal vessels are utilized. Enhanced vascular lumen regions over 120 HU were extracted by a region growing method and skeletonized into wire frame graph models. The number of vascular loop structures in graphs is calculated as 1 - [Number of nodes] + [Number of edges], and results are compared between AVM/control groups, pre-/postprogression, and pre-/posttreatment. RESULTS: Average vascular lumen capacity of AVMs was 57.5 ml/lesion, and average number of vascular loops was 548 loops/lesion. Loop density of AVMs (weighted average, 9.5 loops/ml) exhibited statistically significant (P < 0.001) greater value than normal abdominal blood vessels (weighted average, 1.3 loops/ml). In all 4 cases without treatment, number of loops and loop density both increased. Particularly, number of loops increased greatly by 2 times or more in 3 cases. In all 7 cases with treatment, number of loops and vascular lumen capacity significantly (P = 0.0156) decreased. Particularly, number of loops showed clearer decrease in cases with entire lesion treatment than partial treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Total number of described vascular loop structures and their density or volume well reflected the existence, progression, and remission of soft-tissue AVMs. Topological analysis can be expected to be developed into a quantitative evaluation for AVMs.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0. American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas