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A cerebrovascular malformation is a rare condition that affects the blood vessels and blood flow in the brain. The condition can involve arteries, veins or both. Cerebrovascular malformations can involve one part of the brain or an entire half of the brain. Children with cerebrovascular malformations often undergo surgery to remove the abnormal blood vessels and restore normal blood flow in the brain.
Types of cerebrovascular malformations include:
More than one cerebrovascular malformation can be present at the same time. Many of these conditions can be seen with radiologic diagnostic tests, such as a cerebral angiogram.
Cerebrovascular malformations may also occur with other conditions, including:
Symptoms of cerebrovascular malformations include:
If your child experiences any of these symptoms, neurologists and neurosurgeons will evaluate him or her for the signs of these conditions. An accurate diagnosis is important so that the right treatment is used.
Specialists with Riley at IU Health perform the following exams and tests to diagnose cerebrovascular malformations:
If diagnostic tests show that a cerebrovascular malformation is present, a neurosurgeon will discuss with you the best treatment options for your child.
The goal of treatment for cerebrovascular malformations is to remove or repair abnormal blood vessels to prevent complications such as hemorrhage or stroke. Treatments include:
Children who undergo surgery for cerebrovascular malformations usually return home after a few days in the hospital. In most cases, they can return to normal daily activities within a month.
View these links to discover support groups and more resources for cerebrovascular malformation.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
This nonprofit group provides extensive information about the diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular malformation, including links to sites about clinical trials and research.
This National Institutes of Health website provides overview, diagnosis and treatment information about cavernous malformations.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke also provides detailed information about arteriovenous malformations.
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