Prenatal depiction of angioarchitecture of an aneurysm of the vein of Galen with three-dimensional color power angiography

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Apr;15(4):337-40. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-0705.2000.00067.x.


A fetus with a large supratentorial cyst and cardiomegaly was encountered at 33 weeks of gestation. The cyst appeared as an aneurysmal, fluid-filled structure extending posteriorly with a finger-like appendage. Using color flow mapping, we disclosed rapid in-and-out blood flow with marked turbulence within the cyst. For evaluation of its blood supply and venous drainage of the vascular malformation, a three-dimensional reconstruction of the power Doppler image was conducted. The results revealed that the vascular malformation was supplied by a small contralateral aneurysm from the branches of Willis' circle, draining posteriorly into an abnormal falcine sinus and then into the superior sagittal sinus. No other fetal abnormality such as hydrocephalus or hydrops was discovered. The prenatal diagnosis of an aneurysm of the vein of Galen was made on the basis of the gray-scale, color Doppler findings, and also the angioarchitecture obtained by three-dimensional power Doppler imaging. The woman was admitted at 37 weeks of gestation due to labor onset and delivered the baby via the vaginal route without complication. Postnatal angiography and magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the diagnosis of an aneurysm of the vein of Galen, and the angioarchitecture depicted it before birth. We suggest that three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasonography may assist in the diagnosis of an aneurysm of the vein of Galen, and precisely delineate the complicated corresponding vasculature. This may guide postnatal management and predict the prognosis more accurately.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebral Veins*
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial / methods*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*