Cavernous Malformation Symptoms, Treatments and Surgery

What are Cavernous Malformations?
Cavernous malformations are abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord. This is a rare disorder of the capillaries and smallest veins in one part of the brain. The disorder occurs when a blood-filled mass resembling a tumor, called a hemangioma, forms. They occur almost equally in men and women and affect one in 200 people.
What Causes Cavernous Malfromations?
In some cases, malformations may run in families and are inherited. The abnormality either occurs spontaneously, typically with one lesion or frequently, producing many lesions. 

What are the Symptoms of Cavernous Malformation?
In some patients, symptoms may not be prevalent at all and thus the malformation is never found. However symptoms can include numbness and weakness, unsteadiness, trouble with your vision, and difficulties speaking or swallowing.  Seizures can also be a symptom that may indicate a cavernous malformation.
What is the Treatment for a Cavernous Malformation?
Cavernous malformations do not always cause problems and may only require close and careful observation via MRI. When surgery is required it is usually do the malformation causing seizures or bleeding in the brain. Doctors remove the entire malformation as leaving even a small piece may result in continued seizures and other issues.  Surgical procedures may be considered too risky for patients depending on patient health, age, and size of the malformation. 

What is the prognosis?

Cavernous malformations are not always life-threatening and often do not require any specific treatment. As mentioned above once symptoms start to appear, a MRI is performed and the malformation found. From there your doctor will decided the best treatment option.


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