Intracranial and orbital cavernous angiomas: A review of 74 surgical cases

Nicola Acciarri, Roberto Padovani, Marco Giulioni, Giulio Gaist, Riccardo Acciarri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a surgical series of 74 patients (30 males and 44 females) with pathologically verified cavernous angiomas of the intracranial and orbital compartments. Patients were admitted between 1975 and 1991; six had a family history of cerebral cavernomas, and two had multiple (two) lesions. The 76 malformations were located as follows: 57 were in the cerebral hemispheres, four in the supratentorial ventricles, one was in the middle cranial fossa, two were in the brain stem, five in the cerebellum and seven in the orbits. Seizures and focal neurological deficits, and decrease of visual acuity with exophthalmus, were the main clinical signs observed in patients with intracranial and orbital cavernomas, respectively. Sixteen patients (21.6% had a clinically significant haemorrhage attributable to the cavernous angioma. A number of these vascular malformations were misdiagnosed by computed tomography. In the last 10 years magnetic resonance imaging has been the most sensitive method for detecting these lesions. Seventy-four of the 76 diagnosed cavernomas were treated surgically: a complete excision was obtained in 68 patients; in two patients with multiple lesions only those causing symptoms were removed. Surgery for the 10 deep lesions was aided considerably by stereotactic localization. Two patients died in the immediate postoperative course. The overall outcome was good in 66 of the 72 remaining patients, resulting in improved seizure control or lessened neurological deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-539
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Brain vascular malformation
  • Cavernous angioma
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Orbital tumour
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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