Normal galenic drainage of the deep cerebral venous system in two cases of vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation

Childs Nerv Syst. 2004 Feb;20(2):91-7; discussion 98-9. doi: 10.1007/s00381-003-0841-y. Epub 2003 Dec 23.


Introduction: Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformations (VGAM) are assumed to be related to the persistence of the embryonic median prosencephalic vein of Markowski, which does not involute in cases of VGAM and becomes the venous collector of the shunt, characteristic of the malformation. The arterial feeders of VGAMs are all primitive meningeal arteries present during the embryonic period of the constitution of the malformation. It has also been assumed that the internal cerebral veins were absent in patients presenting with VGAM. There is no clear evidence indicating, however, that the deep venous structures cannot develop normally.

Case reports: We report on two cases of VGAM in which superselective retrograde transvenous catheterization and MRI demonstrated that normal internal cerebral veins were draining into the aneurysmal vein of Galen.

Conclusions: It is conceivable that, as in our patients, this drainage pattern is only angiographically detectable via selective retrograde transvenous drainage. The possibility of such normal deep galenic venous drainage must be considered in VGAM management, as it may imply occurrence of adverse effects when the malformation is occluded on the venous side.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods
  • Cerebral Veins*
  • Child
  • Drainage / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / pathology*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods