About the disease
Angioma of brain is a malformation, when small blood vessels in the central nervous system become enlarged. Their structure is also erratic. It can develop in any part of the brain, including surface of the brain, brain stem and cerebellum.
Angioma is a subtype of cavernous malformation. Other subtypes are hemangioma and cavernous. In most cases, angioma of brain occurs as a congenital condition, meaning that it can rarely develop during the lifetime. If it does develop in adulthood, it can be caused by a serious infection affecting the brain. It should be noted that angioma of brain is not a tumor, but nonetheless it is a dangerous condition, which should be treated once diagnosed. The most precarious complication of angioma is a brain hemorrhage as a result of vascular congestion.
There are three types of angioma:
- Cavernous angioma is characterized by an accumulation of small blood vessels and blood flow disorder
- Cerebral venous angioma is characterized by dilation of these vessels
- Capillary angioma is an accumulation of brain capillaries that obstruct the blood flow
According to Pennsylvania Brain & Spine Institute, 25% of people who have cavernous malformation will not experience any manifestations of this disease throughout their life.
- Convulsions resembling epileptic attacks
- Frequent nausea
- Paralysis or restricted mobility of certain body parts
- Violation of speech
- Noise, heard in the head
Diagnosis of this disease can be difficult, because angioma in most cases does not cause any symptoms for a long time. Nevertheless, modern technologies can detect it before it begins causing complications.
- Contrast angiography is probably the most precise diagnostic method. This is an imaging test, during which a patient is given a special radiopaque medication, which allows the doctor to make an X-ray examination of the head.
- Superselective angiography is a safer diagnostic method, when catheter is injected specifically in the area where angioma is most likely to be accumulated.
- MRI and CT scan are also used for diagnosis of angioma as they can assess patient`s blood vessels in the brain.
- Platinum coils embolization (coiling) is a surgery during which a surgeon closes off the sac where blood vessels are accumulated to prevent brain rupture and hemorrhage and relieve the angioma symptoms, if they are present. In this case coils or mesh stents are inserted through a catheter into the brain to close the aneurysm.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery uses precisely targeted radiation beams to reach the aneurysm and treat it. Doctors can use either Gamma Knife or Linear Accelerator for this purpose.
- Partial resection and coiling is a surgery, when aneurysm is resected. After this a surgeon places coils to close the malformation. This procedure is more invasive than platinum coils embolization.