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J Neurosurg. 1988 Apr;68(4):518-31.

Clinical, radiological, and pathological spectrum of angiographically occult intracranial vascular malformations. Analysis of 21 cases and review of the literature.

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Service of Neurosurgery, Hospital "1 Octubre", Madrid, Spain.


The clinical, radiological, and histopathological features of 21 cases of angiographically occult intracranial vascular malformations (AOIVM's) are analyzed, and a review of 241 additional appropriately documented, histologically verified cases collected from the literature is presented. In all, there were 115 (43.8%) arteriovenous malformations, 82 (31.2%) cavernous angiomas, 26 (9.9%) venous angiomas, 10 (3.8%) cases of capillary telangiectasis, and 29 (11%) mixed or unclassified angiomas. The result of the analysis shows that there are no essential differences in the patterns of clinical presentation, the computerized tomography (CT) appearance, or the surgical prognosis among these pathological types of vascular malformations. Certain histological features common to all AOIVM's (such as the small caliber, the more or less complete thrombosis of the malformed vessels, and the changes induced in the surrounding brain tissue by repeated microhemorrhages) seem to determine the biological behavior of the anomaly rather than the predominant type of vessel involved. Thus, subdivision of AOIVM's into the four classical pathological types has little practical value. Most AOIVM's are visualized by the CT scan and show a rather typical appearance. Surgical removal, which prevents rebleeding and ameliorates or suppresses seizure activity, is usually easy to perform and represents the treatment of choice for patients with clinically symptomatic AOIVM's.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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