Posterior fossa venous angiomas with drainage through the brain stem

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1994 Apr;15(4):643-52.


Purpose: To describe 11 cases of posterior fossa venous angiomas with drainage through the brain stem.

Methods: Eleven cases of posterior fossa venous angioma with drainage through the brain stem were evaluated using MR. Correlation with known routes of venous drainage for the cerebellum and brain stem is made.

Results: Six of the 11 venous angiomas were found in the cerebellum, four in the brain stem; one involved both the cerebellum and brain stem. The cerebellar venous angiomas drained to subependymal veins about the fourth ventricle and dorsal pons. These then connected with an enlarged transmesencephalic or transpontine vein, to drain anteriorly to the anterior pontine veins. The brain stem angiomas had variable drainage depending on location. Evidence of hemorrhage was seen in five cases.

Conclusion: Cerebellar and brain stem venous angiomas have several potential routes of drainage, including an enlarged vein traversing the pons, midbrain, or medulla. A knowledge of the normal venous anatomy of this region helps to understand the occurrence of these uncommon routes of venous drainage.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Stem / blood supply*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Cerebellum / blood supply
  • Child
  • Ependyma / blood supply
  • Hemangioma / blood supply*
  • Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mesencephalon / blood supply
  • Middle Aged
  • Pons / blood supply
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Veins