Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 April 2016
Neonatal congestive heart failure in cerebral arteriovenous malformations carries a high risk of mortality. Severe heart failure leading to end-organ dysfunction may be a contraindication to early intervention. Although echocardiographic markers of haemodynamic instability exist, an objective echocardiographic predictor of severe heart failure is not available. We present a ratio of antegrade to retrograde flow in the aortic arch that objectively identifies those at the highest risk of mortality. This measurement can be easily obtained and has prognostic value at presentation, before clinical deterioration. Outcomes remain poor even when early intervention is offered, which may reflect irreversible neurological abnormalities.