Vascular malformations are congenital abnormalities of the brain vascular system and of the spinal cord vascular system, which are classified as:
• Brain aneurysms: which are pathological enlargements of the lumen of an artery.
• Venous angiomas: which consist entirely of veins near the surface of the brain.
• Cavernous angiomas or Cavernomas: which are large sinusoidal formations.
• Arteriovenous malformations: They are composed of coils of arteries directly connected to veins.
Vascular malformations - Causes
The main cause of vascular malformations is accidental abnormalities caused in the cerebral vessels during fetal development.
Vascular malformations - Symptoms
The most common symptoms of vascular malformations include:
• subarachnoid hemorrhage
• intraventricular hemorrhage
• epileptic seizure
• intracerebral hemorrhage
• decreased visual acuity
• psychological disorders
The following treatment methods of vascular malformations are recommended: surgical removal of accessible malformations, embolization of selected malformations usually in conjunction with focused radiation (γ-knife radiosurgery or gamma knife surgery).
In any case, the site, the magnitude of the lesion, the age of the patient, the degree of neurological dysfunction and the general health condition of the patient should be taken into account so as to determine the optimal therapeutic approach.