Pathology of cavernous malformations

Sachin Batra, Barbara Crain, Rachel Engelmann, Joaquin Camara-Quintana, Daniele Rigamonti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cerebrovascular malformations are classified as cavernous malformations (CMs), arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) and capillary telangiectasias (CTs). CMs are the second most common form of cerebrovascular malformation and constitute up to 10–15% of the total [1, 2]. In the past, CMs were not visualized on radiological examinations such as CT scanning or angiography and were therefore referred to as angiographically occult or cryptic vascular malformations. Recent studies have resurrected the old suspicion that CMs are vascular tumors [3], hence the alternative terms cavernous hemangiomas, cavernomas, or cavernous angiomas. Clinical features of CMs include epilepsy (22–50%), focal deficits (20–45%), headaches (6–34%), or hemorrhages (up to 56%); CMs may also remain clinically silent (up to 40%) [4–8]. Macroscopic and microscopic features. CMs resemble well circumscribed, multilobulated, mulberry-like structures ranging in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter [2, 9, 10]. Intracranial CMs are more frequently located supratentorially (64–84%) while spinal lesions are frequently located in the lower thoracolumbar region (97%) [2, 11, 12]. They have been observed in all cortical locations as well as in deep locations like the basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum and the brainstem [2, 13, 14]. Lesions of the cerebellopontine angle, pituitary, and periventricular region have all been reported to have intraventricular CMs [15–17].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCavernous Malformations of the Nervous System
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781139003636
ISBN (Print)9780521764278
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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