Prognosis of antenatally diagnosed vein of Galen aneurysmal malformations

Childs Nerv Syst. 1994 Mar;10(2):79-83. doi: 10.1007/BF00302765.


In our experience of 168 consecutive cerebral arteriovenous shunts, all antenatally diagnosed lesions were vein of Galen aneurysmal malformations (VGAMs). This series consists of 18 cases of VGAMs detected by ultrasound during the third trimester of pregnancy. There were 12 normal vaginal deliveries, 5 deliveries by cesarean section, and 1 induced abortion. Sixteen newborns (94%) presented with systemic cardiac manifestations as the first clinical symptoms; 12/16 were managed effectively by digitalo-diuretic treatment, while 4 (25%) died shortly after birth from acute heart and/or multiorgan failure with extensive brain damage. Twelve babies underwent embolization via the arterial route in infancy (2 at 2 months of age). Total exclusion was obtained in 8 babies (67%, 3 with 6 months follow-up). Furthermore, 67% of the newborns managed by our team are neurologically normal (Denver and Brunet-Leizine tests). These results emphasize that the pessimism that follows antenatal discovery of these lesions and the previous assumption of a bad prognosis for VGAMs can nowadays be reviewed in the light of transarterial endovascular therapy applied according to a strict clinicoradiological protocol. Interventions in the neonatal period are rarely required. Generally, poorly timed mechanical therapy should be discouraged.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cerebral Veins / abnormalities*
  • Cerebral Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Decision Trees
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / mortality
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*