Cavernous malformations and capillary telangiectasia: a spectrum within a single pathological entity

Neurosurgery. 1991 Jan;28(1):60-4.


Cerebral vascular malformations have traditionally been divided into four categories: arteriovenous, venous, cavernous, and capillary telangiectases. A controversy exists about separating the latter two lesions into separate entities. Critics claim the distinction is arbitrary but have been unable to present convincing evidence linking the two types of lesions. We have reviewed the histories of 20 patients with cavernous malformations and have analyzed the clinical, radiographic, and surgical-autopsy data associated with these lesions. In some patients, multiple lesions, including cavernous malformations, capillary telangiectases, and transitional forms between the two, were identified. Based on this analysis, we conclude that capillary telangiectasia and cavernous malformations represent two pathological extremes within the same vascular malformation category and propose grouping them as a single cerebral entity called cerebral capillary malformations.

MeSH terms

  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Cavernous Sinus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Telangiectasis / pathology*