Developmental venous anomalies

Handb Clin Neurol. 2017:143:279-282. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63640-9.00026-6.


Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are relatively common lesions, present in up to 3% of the population. The defining characteristic of these lesions is the confluence of radially oriented veins into a single dilated venous channel. DVAs are also known as cerebral venous angiomas, cerebral venous malformations, and cerebral venous medullary malformations. They are the most common type of cerebral vascular malformation found on autopsy studies, and they are often encountered as incidental findings on neuroimaging studies. DVAs are congenital lesions thought to arise from aberrations that occur during venous development, but continue to provide the normal venous drainage to the cerebral territory in which they reside. Although the natural history of DVAs is benign, they may be associated with cavernous malformations or other vascular abnormalities, which can lead to hemorrhage in the vicinity of the DVA. Surgical or endovascular obliteration of DVAs carries a significant risk of venous infarction; thus, conservative management is the treatment of choice for patients with these lesions.

Keywords: developmental venous anomaly; venous angioma; venous malformation; venous medullary malformation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Central Nervous System Venous Angioma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Central Nervous System Venous Angioma* / pathology
  • Cerebral Veins / abnormalities*
  • Cerebral Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Veins / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neuroimaging