Cavernous Hemangioma

Cavernous Hemangioma

Brock Kaya, MD

Graphic depicts a cavernous hemangioma of the pons, consisting of a compact aggregate of dilated blood vessels with surrounding hemosiderin deposits.

Axial T1WI MR demonstrates a left temporal cavernous hemangioma with central bright T1 contents. A cavernoma image was previously resected on the right. (Courtesy S. M. Holmes, MD.)



  • Cavernous angioma, cavernous malformation, cavernoma


Acquired Anomaly

  • Previously considered congenital, but now favored to be acquired

  • Familial forms

    • Autosomal dominant with incomplete penetrance

    • Related to mutations in either KRIT1 (CCM1), CCM2, or PDCD10 (CCM3)

  • May occur secondarily following radiation therapy for childhood brain tumors



  • Incidence: 0.5-0.7%

  • Account for 10-15% of all vascular malformations

  • Equal sex distribution

  • Between 9-25% of cases occur in children

  • Sporadic and familial forms

    • Sporadic lesions typically solitary

    • Multiple cavernomas either familial or sporadic

  • May have associated venous angioma (developmental venous anomaly)


  • Found throughout CNS

  • Majority (85%) are supratentorial

  • Subcortical white matter is most common site

  • Pons and cerebellum are common infratentorial sites


  • Increasingly, an incidental finding by imaging

  • Most are asymptomatic

  • Symptomatic individuals (25% of those affected) may present at any age but most common in 2nd to 5th decades

    • Seizures

    • Focal neurologic deficits

    • Hemorrhage

      • In adults, uncommon cause of clinically significant cerebral hemorrhage (risk of 0.25-6% per year)

      • In children, most common manifestation is hemorrhage

Jul 8, 2016 | Posted by in PATHOLOGY & LABORATORY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Cavernous Hemangioma

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