Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation: rationalizing medical management of neonatal heart failure

Pediatr Res. 2023 Jan;93(1):39-48. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02064-1. Epub 2022 Apr 14.


Neonates who present in high output heart failure secondary to vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation can be difficult to manage medically due to the complex physiology that results from the large shunt through the malformation. Though the cardiac function is often normal, right ventricular dilation, severe pulmonary hypertension, and systemic steal can result in inadequate organ perfusion and shock. This report recommends medical management for stabilization of neonates prior to definitive management with endovascular embolization. IMPACT: Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation (VGAM) is a rare intracranial arteriovenous malformation, which can present in the neonatal period with high output heart failure. Heart failure secondary to VGAM is often difficult to manage and is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Despite optimal medical management, many patients require urgent endovascular embolization for stabilization of their heart failure. This report offers discrete recommendations that can be used by clinicians as guidelines for the medical management of heart failure in newborns with VGAM.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Veins* / abnormalities
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations* / complications
  • Vein of Galen Malformations* / complications
  • Vein of Galen Malformations* / diagnostic imaging
  • Vein of Galen Malformations* / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Vein of Galen aneurysm