Glioblastoma multiforme and cerebral cavernous malformations: intersection of pathophysiologic pathways

J Clin Neurosci. 2012 Jun;19(6):884-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2011.07.017. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are known to occur in both sporadic and familial forms. To date, there has been no identified association of CCM with glioblastoma multiforme. We present a 69-year-old woman with a 14 year history of multiple CCM who developed progressive aphasia. She had no radiation exposure and had only undergone a single computed tomography scan in her entire life. MRI demonstrated irregular gadolinium enhancement in the area of a prior stable CCM, suspicious for a high grade tumor. Stereotactic biopsy revealed a glioblastoma multiforme. This is a unique case of glioblastoma multiforme arising from the "site" of a known CCM. We review the literature on the genetics of cavernous malformations and propose a mechanism for the tumorigenic potential of these vascular malformations.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / pathology*
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology