Cavernous Venous Malformations
Cavernous Venous Malformations (referred to as CVM's or Cavernoma's) are curious lesions whose pathophysiology remains unclear, despite much interest. They are abnormal collections of sinusoidal veins without intervening brain tissue. They may present with bleed, epilepsy or they are found incidentally.
In surgically accessible areas excision is the definitive treatment. However, particularly in the brain stem or other “important” parts of the brain such an excision can cause major disability.
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery treatment reduces the risk of bleed from these lesions. However, as they cannot be shown by angiography and the “stain” in the brain caused by the previous bleed will always be visible on scans, we cannot give an “all clear” even after the treatment. However, The statistics show that Gamma Knife treatment is well worth having. With modern planning technology the risks of the treatment are very small indeed.