A cerebral cavernous malformation is an abnormal group of small blood vessels that may be found in the brain and spinal cord. These lesions can be quiet for many years; however, they can manifest themselves by bleeding. Cerebral cavernous malformations may cause serious neurological symptoms—even death—as a result of severe bleeding or pressure on the brain or nerves. Seizures, headaches, paralysis, and cerebral hemorrhage are common symptoms. Seizures may be controlled with anti-epileptic drugs. Surgery may be necessary to remove a cerebral cavernous malformation that is causing symptoms or that suffered multiple bleedings.
At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for a cerebral cavernous malformation is Neuroendoport® Surgery. Neuroendoport surgery provides access to the malformation through a dime-size channel. This minimally invasive approach offers the benefits of minimal scarring, fewer side effects and complications, and faster recovery times than with traditional surgery.
Cerebral cavernous malformations can be diagnosed by imaging studies such as CT and MRI scans.
Your physician also will ask you about your symptoms, which may include:
- hearing or vision changes
- cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)
Anti-epileptic drugs are typically given to control seizures. However, surgery may be required to remove the malformation if it is causing recurrent bleeding or other dangerous symptoms.
Neuroendoport® Surgery offers a minimally invasive option for tumors within the ventricles (fluid spaces) or deep-seated tumors within the substance of the brain. A narrow tube or port allows doctors to access these tumors through a tiny incision in the scalp, in contrast to traditional brain surgery.