Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are congenital anatomical variants of normal venous drainage of normal brain. Although DVAs are often discovered on the occasion of a seizure, their involvement in epilepsy is poorly studied. Our objective was to determine whether DVA can cause seizures, in the cases where there is no associated lesion, including no cavernoma or dysplasia. Based on clinical history, cerebral MRI, EEG recording, and 18F-FDG PET, we report 4 patients with DVA revealed by seizures. The first patient had a convulsive seizure caused by a hemorrhagic infarction due to thrombosis of her DVA. The second patient had a left temporo-parietal DVA next to a nonspecific lesion, possibly a sequelae of a venous infarction. The last two patients disclosed an isolated and uncomplicated DVA with a concordant epileptic focus confirmed on ictal video EEG recording. We reviewed literature and identified 21 other published cases of seizures caused by complications of a DVA and 9 patients that may have a direct link between epilepsy and an isolated and uncomplicated DVA. Seizures are linked to a DVA in two main situations: presence of an associated epileptogenic lesion, such as cavernoma or dysplasia, and occurrence of a complication of the DVA. Before concluding that a seizure is caused by a DVA, it is essential to perform full MRI protocols to search them. It remains rare and uncertain that isolated and uncomplicated DVA can cause seizures. In this last situation, physiopathological processes are probably different in each patient.
Keywords: Cavernoma; DVA; Epilepsy; Seizure; Video-EEG.