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Ann Neurol. 2009 Sep;66(3):271-83. doi: 10.1002/ana.21754.

Cerebral developmental venous anomalies: current concepts.

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  • 1Division of Interventional and Diagnostic Neuroradiology, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland.


Cerebral developmental venous anomalies are the most frequently encountered cerebral vascular malformation, and as such, are frequently reported as fortuitous findings in computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are generally considered extreme anatomical variations of the cerebral vasculature, and follow a benign clinical course in the vast majority of cases. Here we review current concepts on DVAs with the aim of helping clinicians understand this complex entity. Morphological characteristics that are necessary to conceptualize DVAs are discussed in depth. Images modalities used in diagnosing DVAs are reviewed, including new MRI or CT techniques. Clinical presentation, association with other vascular malformations and cerebral parenchymal abnormalities, and possible physiopathological processes leading to associated imaging or clinical findings are discussed. Atypical forms of DVAs are also reviewed and their clinical significance discussed. Finally, recommendations as to how to manage asymptomatic or symptomatic patients with a DVA are advanced.

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