Growth, subsequent bleeding, and de novo appearance of cerebral cavernous angiomas

Eugenio Pozzati, Nicola Acciarri, Francesco Tognetti, Federica Marliani, Felice Giangaspero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IN A SERIES of 145 patients with brain cavernous angiomas treated at our hospital in the last 16 years, the angiomas of 18 patients exhibited aggressive biological behavior characterized by recurrent overt bleeding, growth, or de novo appearance. The cavernomas were in the cerebellum in three patients, in the brain stem in one, in the thalamus in four, in the caudate nucleus in two, in the diencephalon in one, and in the white matter of the cerebral hemispheres in seven. Three of these patients suffered from the familial or multiple form of the disease, two were pregnant, three had previously been irradiated for other tumors, and one had been treated by radiosurgery in the past. Overall, new cavernous malformations not previously shown were discovered in six patients. In 10 patients (3 male and 7 female) presenting with recurrent hemorrhages, the mean period of time between bleedings was 11 months (range, 1 wk-3 yr). Eleven patients were treated by definitive surgery, and seven were conservatively treated. One patient with a diencephalic cavernoma died from progressive hypothalamic dysfunction; three patients in the nonsurgical group had repeated symptoms and were left with additional neurological deficits. The outcome of the surgical group was the same (seven patients) or improved (four patients). Risk factors favoring an aggressive behavior included pregnancy, familial or multiple form of the disease, previous whole brain or stereotactic radiotherapy, incomplete removal, brain location, and associated venous malformation. The female preponderance (female to male ratio, 13:5) may also suggest some role of hormonal factors in influencing the biological behavior of cavernous malformations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-670
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996


  • Cavernous angioma
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Vascular malformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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