BMC Stroke Center offers contemporary treatment for brain, carotid and spinal vascular diseases.

Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center

Text Size Increase Text Size Decrease Font Size Print Page

Services

Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs)

Spetzler Martin Grading Scale

The Spetzler Martin Grading Scale estimates the risk of open neurosurgery for a patient with AVM, by evaluating AVM size, pattern of venous drainage, and eloquence of brain location. A Grade 1 AVM would be considered as small, superficial, and located in non-eloquent brain, and low risk for surgery. Grade 4 or 5 AVM are large, deep, and adjacent to eloquent brain. Grade 6 AVM is considered not operable.

Note however, that this scale does not necessarily correlate with risk of treatment by embolization or radiosurgery.

Spetzler Martin Grading Scale
spetzler martin grading scale estimates neurosurgery risks to patients

Size of AVM
Small (<3 cm) 1
Medium (3-6 cm) 2
Large (>6 cm) 3
 
Location 
Noneloquent site 0
Eloquent site* 1
 
Venouse drainage 
Superficial 0
Deep 1
 
*Sensorimotor, language, visual cortex, hypothalamus, thalamus, brain stem, cerebellar nuclei, or regions directly adjacent to these structures.

References:

Spetzler RF, Martin NA. A proposed grading system for arteriovenous malformations. J Neurosurg 1986;65:476-83. 

Iancu-Gontard D, Weill A, Guilbert F, Nguyen T, Raymond J, Roy D. Inter- and intraobserver variability in the assessment of brain arteriovenous malformation angioarchitecture and endovascular treatment results. Am J Neuroradiol 2007;28(3):524-7.

Appointments

Call: 617.638.8456
Fax: 617.638.8465
Email: stroke@bmc.org


Boston Medical Center
Department of Neurology
Shapiro Center
7th Floor, Suite 7B
725 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02118


Refer a Patient

Call: 800.682.2862


For Research Information

Contact Helena Lau,
Call: 617.414.1171
Fax: 617.638.5354
stroke@bmc.org or
hlau@bu.edu


Learn More

Quick Links

Directions to BMC
BMC Campus Virtual Tour
Shapiro Center
CyberKnife
Neurology
Neurosurgery
Framingham Study
Interventional Radiology 

Areas of Expertise

Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs)
Brain Aneurysm Care
Carotid Artery Disease
Dural Arteriovenous Fistula (DAVF)
Spine Care
Stroke Prevention & Treatment

Downloads (PDF)

BMC Campus Map
What Makes BMC Special