A cavernous malformation is one type of blood vessel anomaly that can occur within the brain. These typically appear as a well-defined, compact mass of blood vessels that do not involve any brain tissue. Sometimes cavernous malformations cause symptoms in patients while other times, they are found incidentally on brain imaging done for other reasons.
Cavernous malformations can cause seizures or pressure on surrounding brain tissue. Typically, these lesions bleed in small amounts from time to time, months or years apart. Usually these malformations are small but if they are of larger size, they can result in more bleeding and more symptoms. Treatment of cavernous malformations depends on the severity of symptoms as well as location and overall health of the patient. Some cavernous malformations can be resected with traditional surgical techniques or stereotactic radiosurgery.