State of the art of antenatal diagnosis and management of vein of Galen aneurysmal malformations

Prenat Diagn. 2022 Aug;42(9):1073-1080. doi: 10.1002/pd.6203. Epub 2022 Jul 15.


Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation (VGAM) is a severe rare vascular anomaly whose prognosis depends on cerebral and cardiac consequences that can be hard to diagnose, let alone predict in utero. We performed an updated review to summarize current research on the genetics, ultrasound and MRI of VGAM that could help in the diagnosis and management of VGAM. Prenatal diagnosis of VGAM has greatly improved in recent years. Ultrasound allows in utero detection of VGAM in most cases now and is the best exam for prenatal cardiac evaluation. Tricuspid insufficiency is the only cardiac feature associated with poor prognosis. Cardiomegaly may indicate a risk of cardiac failure at birth and should prompt discussion of birth in a specialized facility. Ultrasound can identify constituted cerebral lesions, but MRI diagnoses early signs of cerebral hemodynamic changes, notably through the detection of pseudo-feeders. Genetic exploration should be proposed after VGAM diagnosis. Ultrasound and MRI are essential complementary tools for the diagnosis of VGAM, but also for prognostic evaluation, and provide information for the counseling of parents and optimal management of the pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Veins*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Vein of Galen Malformations* / diagnostic imaging
  • Vein of Galen Malformations* / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Vein of Galen aneurysm