- To review the typical imaging characteristics of cavernomas on computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging,
and the key features that allow an accurate diagnosis. - To present some atypical cases: unusual characteristics,
atypical locations and uncommon complications. We show a collection of illustrative cases of cavernous malformations from our archive.
Cavernous malformations (CM),
also known as cavernomas or cavernous angiomas,
are benign vascular lesions composed of thin walled,
dilated capillary spaces with no intervening brain tissue and filled with blood at various stages of stasis,
and calcification . With an estimated prevalence of 0,5% in the general population ,
intraparenchymal CMs can present anywhere in the CNS.
The majority of the lesions are found in the supratentorial compartment (80–...
Findings and procedure details
1 - Imaging findings Most of the CNS cavernomas are incidental findings in imaging studies performed for other pathologies/nonspecific complaints. Radiographically,
high resolution MR imaging is the diagnostic tool of choice for detecting and identifying CMs. Computer Tomography Imaging - 30-50%of cavernomas are not detectable by CT. - On noncontrast CT,
frequently appear as focal areas of increased density usuallywithout mass effect ( Fig. 3 ).
The increased density either represents...
Cavernous malformations are a common benign lesion with vastly described imaging characteristics – but in atypical cases diagnosis is not always as straightforward. A radiologist should: Be aware of these imaging variations as to avoid unnecessary or inadequate further workup or treatments. Be able to determine whether a life-threatening situation is present that requires immediate intervention (evacuation of an intraparenchymal hematoma,
Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Central,
Imaging of the Brain: Expert Radiology Series,
Elsevier Health Sciences,
2012 Ginat DT,
Intracranial Lesions with High Signal Intensity on T1-weighted MR Images: Differential Diagnosis,
RadioGraphics 2012; 32:499–516 Rivera PP,
Intracranial cavernous malformations,
Neuroimag Clin N Am 13 (2003); 27–40 Abe T,
Coexistence of Occult Vascular...