What is a cavernoma ?
A cerebral cavernoma, or cavernous angioma, is an anomaly occurring in the small blood vessels of the brain. These become abnormally dilated (and look like small « caverns », hence the origin of the name for this disorder) and form a raspberry-shaped cluster which is joined to the vessels but clearly demarcated from the brain.
These malformations affect the vascular system and are clearly outlined.
When these clusters are found in the arterial system they are known as hemangiomas. When found in the lymphatic system they are known as lymphangiomas.
This malformation does not usually provoke any symptoms but is sometimes at the origin of various neurological disorders :
- Epileptic seizures,
- Neurological disorders,
- Visual disturbances, decrease in strength or sensitivity of the limbs.
The main risk of a cavernoma is bleeding. This bleeding most often occurs inside the cavernoma but may also occur outside, leading to a brain hemorrhage.
The symptoms observed in people with cerebral cavernoma are due either to the cavernoma itself or to a brain hemorrhage. Indeed, the walls of the cavities forming the cavernoma are very fragile and may easily rupture. This leads to bleeding which may damage the surrounding structures of the brain. However, in general, a hemorrhage resulting from the rupture of these cavities is not very abundant as the blood inside a cavernoma circulates at a very slow rate.
Our therapeutic offer
Surgery is the only treatment for cavernomas. It is proposed when the cavernoma is accessible and has already caused symptoms, or when its size has increased.
The main purpose of the intervention is to completely remove the cavernoma (ablation), and therefore eliminate the risk of a hemorrhage. When the cavernoma is responsible for epileptic seizures, the intervention can help reduce or cure the epilepsy.
When the cavernoma has been completely removed, there is usually no recurrence and the patient is completely cured.
During the procedure to remove the cavernoma, ROSA® provides the surgeon with a better view of the surgical field thanks to real time instrument tracking on the images taken before the operation
Benefits and risks
- Increased safety,
- Less invasive, more accurate procedures,
- For cavernomas leading to epileptic seizures, a decrease or complete release from epilepsy in certain cases.
Recent progress in neurosurgical techniques has made it possible to reduce the risks related to craniotomy. However, in a small number of cases, neurological deficits may occur when certain areas of the brain are affected during the operation :
- Loss of sensitivity in a limb,
- Impaired vision,
Delay in healing or failure to heal, which may lead to a leakage of cerebrospinal fluid.
Consult your physician for a complete list of benefits and risks, precautions, clinical results and other important medical information relative to the surgical treatment of cavernoma.
Cerebral cavernomas affect just as many men as women, whatever their origin. They most often occur between the ages of 20 and 40, but may lead to symptoms right from childhood or adolescence.
The exact cause of this vessel malformation is unknown, but it is a local anomaly in the development of the vessels and can occur before or after birth.
No. Cavernoma of the brain is not contagious.
No. So far no means of preventing the onset of cerebral cavernoma has been found.