Arteriovenous malformations of the brain are a considerable source of morbidity and mortality for patients who harbor them. Although our understanding of this disease has improved, it remains in evolution. Advances in our ability to treat these malformations and the modes by which we address them have also improved substantially. However, the variety of patient clinical and disease scenarios often leads us into challenging and complex management algorithms as we balance the risks of treatment against the natural history of the disease. The goal of this article is to provide a focused review of the natural history of cerebral arteriovenous malformations, to examine the role of stereotactic radiosurgery, to discuss the role of endovascular therapy as it relates to stereotactic radiosurgery, and to look toward future advances.
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