Cavernous Angioma

What is it?

Cavernous angiomas are vascular malformations that are present in brain tissue from birth and are a well-defined ball of capillaries without intermediate brain tissue and surrounded by a more fibrous tissue.

They occur anywhere in the white matter of the brain, but can also affect extracerebral structures such as the orbit.

Which are the symptoms?

They are usually diagnosed in people aged 20-40.

They are fairly common, occurring in 0.4-0.5% of autopsies (1 in 200 people) and can be multiple in 6-18% of cases.

Sometimes they occur in more than one member of the same family, and familial cases with multiple lesions of the brain, retina, liver, kidney, heart and skin are possible in connection with Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome (hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia).

The most common symptom is an epileptic seizure.

In 18-20% of cases, the disease is detected by examinations carried out for other reasons.

At the time of diagnosis, often there are already signs of previous small haemorrhages. Cavernous angiomas can also cause neural haemorrhages, often of limited extent, the clinical consequences of which vary according to location.

Angiomas can increase in size over time.

How is it diagnosed?

The examination of choice is a magnetic resonance imaging scan. Computed tomography (CT) can be used to suspect the presence of a malformation, but does not allow a definitive diagnosis.

Cerebral angiography, on the other hand, is negative unlike other vascular malformations.

How is it treated?

Sono lesioni a basso rischio di sanguinamento ed è difficile, qualora ciò avvenisse, che l’emorragia sia così massiva da causare gravi deficit neurologici.

La terapia consiste nella rimozione chirurgica ed è indicata per:

  • lesioni che hanno sanguinato, perché dopo una prima emorragia vi è una maggiore probabilità di una seconda, che è in genere più grave della prima;
  • pazienti che presentano crisi epilettiche intrattabili: la rimozione della lesione e della zona fibrosa circostante è spesso efficace nella cura di queste crisi;
  • lesioni multiple (asportazione solo della lesione sintomatica, mentre le altre non vengono trattate).

Where do we treat it?

Within the San Donato Group, you can find Cavernous Angioma specialists at these departments:

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

Contact us and we will take care of you.