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Cavernous angioma, also called cavernous hemangioma, is a benign tumor formed by an abnormal buildup of blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord, causing symptoms such as headache, seizures, numbness on one side of the body and difficulty concentrating, for example.
Cavernous angioma is formed by small bubbles that contain blood, and can be diagnosed through magnetic resonance imaging. This type of angioma is, in most cases, hereditary, and the presence of more than one type of angioma can be observed on imaging, however it is also possible that it appears after birth, either alone or in association with a venous angioma.
Cavernous angioma can be dangerous, because when it is large, it can compress regions of the brain and have consequences for the person.In addition, in some cases, cavernous angioma can bleed, which can cause paralysis, neurological sequelae or even death, especially if it is located in the brainstem, which is responsible for vital functions, such as breathing or heartbeat, for example.
Symptoms of cavernous angioma
Symptoms of cavernous angioma arise due to compression of some regions of the brain by the angioma, and may vary according to location, size and level of compression. The main symptoms of cavernous angioma are:
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body;
- Vision, hearing or balance problems;
- Difficulty concentrating, paying attention or remembering;
- Paralysis and neurological sequelae, in the most severe cases.
Thus, in the presence of signs and symptoms possibly indicative of cavernous angioma, it is important to consult the general practitioner or neurologist for a general evaluation and MRI to be performed in order to confirm or rule out the diagnosis and initiate the most appropriate treatment, if necessary.
Treatment for cavernous angioma
Treatment for cavernous angioma is only necessary when it causes symptoms. In this way, the neurologist can prescribe anti-seizure drugs or analgesics to decrease seizures and treat headaches, respectively.
Surgery to remove cavernous angioma is also a form of treatment, however it is only recommended when symptoms do not improve with medication, when there is a risk of bleeding or when the angioma is increasing in size over time of time.