Cerebral cavernous haemangiomas or cavernomas. Incidence, pathology, localization, diagnosis, clinical features and treatment. Review of the literature and report of an unusual case

Neurochirurgia (Stuttg). 1976 Mar;19(2):59-68. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1090391.


Reviewing the literature and adding one unusual case the features of 164 cerebral cavernous haemangiomas are described with special reference to incidence, localization, diagnosis and clinical findings. Cavernomas may be found in every age group including the neonatal period. The sex incidence is equal. In 126 cases (76.8%) the cavernomas were of supratentorial, in 34 cases (20.7%) of infratentorial site, and in 4 more cases (2.5%) there was multiple occurence of supratentorial and posterior fossa cavernous haemangiomas. A specific clinical syndrome could not be defined: but the course is usually acute or subacute, and initial symptoms are commonly epileptic fits, acute headache and subarachnoid or intracerebral haemorrhage. Macroscopic calcifications of cerebral cavernomas were found only in 18 cases (11%). Cerebral angiography was done in 31 cases (18.9%). In 9 cases angiography was totally normal, and in 11 cases the cavernoma presented only as an avascular mass. In the remaining cases there was no conformity in the angiographic appearance of cerebral cavernous haemangiomas. Operative extirpation is the treatment of choice if a solitary lesion is favourably located. In addition to our patient there are now 21 cases (12.8%) in which cavernomas were treated successfully by operative extirpation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / complications
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnosis
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Sex Factors
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / etiology