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CEREBRAL ANGIOMA

OVERVIEW

Cerebral angiomas are vascular abnormalities comprised of clusters of abnormally dilated blood vessels.  They can be singular or multiple, and are found in the brain, spinal cord, and rarely, in other areas of the body including the skin and retina.

They are also known as:

  • cavernous angioma
  • cavernous hemangioma
  • cavernous venous malformation

Up to 40% of solitary cerebral angiomas co-occur with another vascular abnormality, known as a developmental venous anomaly. Cerebral angiomas can continue to form with age, therefore the incidence and number per person increases with age.

Clinical context

The clinical presentation of cerebral angiomas depends on the size, location and effect of the angioma, but is typically the result of hemorrhage, or microhemorrhage in the vicinity of the angioma. This results in presentation with seizures, headache, and/or neurological and cognitive impairment. Presentation is typically in the 20-40 year age group. The risk of hemorrhage is 1% per year for familial cases, and less for sporadic cases.

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