Brain Venous Angioma

What Is It?

A venous angioma is a small abnormal tangle of veins that can occur in the brain. Although not technically normal, some people consider a venous angioma, or venous malformation, a normal variant because it occurs fairly frequently (probably in at least a few percent of all people) and because it is rarely associated with any symptoms, hemorrhage or other problems.

Venous malformations should not be confused with other cerebrovascular malformations such as a cavernous malformation or arteriovenous malformation. These more rare malformations of the blood vessels in the brain are much more likely to bleed and cause significant symptoms.

Occasionally, an angioma can be associated with another malformation, most commonly a cavernous malformation. In these cases the angioma is just incidental and the real pathology of concern is the cavernous malformation, not the angioma.

What Types of Symptoms Are Typical?

The large majority of angiomas are completely asymptomatic. They are not generally considered a risk for hemorrhage and do not usually cause symptoms. They can occur in various parts of the brain.

Most commonly, these angiomas are discovered incidentally, without symptoms.

How Is The Diagnosis Typically Made?

As mentioned above, most angiomas are discovered incidentally. In other words, they are seen on some imaging study, such as a CT scan, MRI scan or cerebral angiogram, which was ordered for some unrelated reason.

Occasionally the angioma can be associated with a cavernous malformation and may be discovered on the work-up for that lesion.

What Are Some Common Treatments?

Because venous angiomas rarely cause symptoms or bleed, they generally do not require treatment. If angiomas are associated with other malformations, such as a cavernous malformation, the primary malformation may require treatment itself. However, the angioma is generally left alone.

Because each case is different, each patient should discuss their appropriate treatment with their own treating physicians.

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Important Note: This site is not intended to offer medical advice. Every patient is different, and only your personal physician can help to counsel you about what is best for your situation. What we offer is general reference information about various disorders and treatments for your education.

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