Image findings in brain developmental venous anomalies

J Cerebrovasc Endovasc Neurosurg. 2012 Mar;14(1):37-43. doi: 10.7461/jcen.2012.14.1.37. Epub 2012 Mar 31.


Objective: Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are benign anatomic variations; therefore, they are usually discovered incidentally. The aim of this article was to describe radiological findings of DVAs.

Methods: A retrospective search for DVAs of the brain was performed in 1899 patients who had undergone magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with contrast enhancement between January 1, 2005 and April 25, 2011. We also reviewed the results of computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), CT angiography, and transfemoral cerebral angiography (TFCA) studies performed in patients with DVAs.

Results: Thirty-two DVAs were identified in 31 of the 1899 patients (1.63%). These 31 patients underwent five enhanced CTs, three MRAs, two CT angiographies, and two TFCAs. Thirty of the 32 DVAs were supratentorial (ST) and two were infratentorial (IT). All enhanced MRI studies exhibited excellent resolution of DVAs. All DVAs had only one draining vein. The venous drainage system was an IT vein in three DVAs and an ST vein in 29 DVAs. Two out of five enhanced CTs presented good visualization of the draining vein. None of the MRAs, including the source image, revealed the presence of DVAs. The two CT angiographies exhibited good resolution of DVAs. One of the two TFCAs yielded an excellent illustration of the DVA.

Conclusion: CT angiography and MRI with contrast enhancement yielded detailed findings of DVAs. In contrast, MRA did not identify the DVAs. Enhanced CT presented only the draining vein of DVAs.

Keywords: Development; Magnetic resonance imaging; Venous anomaly.