Perinatal pseudocoarctation: echocardiographic findings in vein of Galen malformation

J Ultrasound Med. 2005 Jan;24(1):93-8; quiz 99. doi: 10.7863/jum.2005.24.1.93.


Objective: Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformations (VGAMs) are rare congenital malformations thought to develop during weeks 6 to 11 of fetal life. Although they represent less than 1% of all cerebral vascular malformations, they constitute up to 30% of all pediatric vascular malformations. Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformations cause high-output heart failure in the fetus and neonate secondary to the decreased resistance and high blood flow in the lesion. We describe 2 cases, 1 prenatal and 1 postnatal, in which unusual aortic Doppler flow patterns and substantial brachiocephalic vessel dilation contributed to the discovery of a VGAM.

Methods: Echocardiographic findings associated with VGAM malformations in 2 cases are described.

Results: Unusual Doppler flow patterns and substantial brachiocephalic vessel dilation were seen in both cases. Pseudocoarctation of the aorta was also noted in both cases.

Conclusions: The echocardiographic findings in fetal and neonatal VGAM may include pseudocoarctation of the aorta. Abnormal fetal cardiac findings should raise the practitioner's suspicion for cerebral malformations and vice versa.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aortic Coarctation / complications*
  • Aortic Coarctation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brachiocephalic Trunk / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Veins / abnormalities*
  • Cerebral Veins / diagnostic imaging*
  • Echocardiography*
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*