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Cavernoma AVM is a highly rare vascular malformation in the brain. This disorder is characterized by a tangle of blood vessels, which can cause severe brain injury if bleeding occurs. Cavernima AVMs are frequently discovered when an injury or seizure occurs. In addition, an MRI or CT scan performed for another reason might reveal their presence.

Cavernoma Treatment in Tucson, AZ

What is Cavernoma?

Cavernoma is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain. Cavernomas are usually congenital and may develop in later life. They affect around 1 in every 200 people. However, many people with very small cavernomas will never experience symptoms and will only come to light if they have a brain scan for another reason.

Cavernomas can occur anywhere in the brain or spinal cord but are most commonly found in the cerebellum or the brainstem.

Types of Cavernoma

Cavernoma is classified according to location and the type of vessels involved. There are four main types:

  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs): Abnormalities in the blood vessels can occur anywhere in the body. These abnormalities can cause problems with blood flow and may lead to serious health complications.
  • Brainstem cavernomas: This rare condition occurs when a cluster of abnormal blood vessels in the brainstem. This can cause various symptoms, including movement, vision, and balance problems.
  • Cerebellar cavernomas:Cerebellar cavernomas are brain lesions that occur when abnormal blood vessels form in the cerebellum. These lesions can cause various symptoms, including headache, dizziness, nausea, and seizures.

What are the symptoms of Cavernoma?

Cavernoma can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on its size and location. Headaches are the most common symptom, but seizures, visual disturbances, and weakness or paralysis of the limbs can also occur.

Cavernoma can also cause problems with balance and coordination, speech or swallowing, dizziness or vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), changes in hearing, fatigue, sleep problems, mood changes, personality changes, and cognitive difficulties (problems with memory, attention, etc.).

How is Cavernoma diagnosed?

Cavernoma can be a severe condition, and you must see a doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms. However, early detection and treatment can prevent significant issues from developing. There are several ways to diagnose cavernoma, which include:

MRI scan: This type of scan uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of the body. An MRI scan can often detect small cavernomas that may not be visible on other types of scans.

CT scan: A CT scan uses X-rays to create detailed images of the inside of the body. This type of scan can often detect larger cavernomas that may not be visible on an MRI scan.

Angiogram: This is a special X-ray used to examine the blood vessels. During an angiogram, a dye is injected into the blood vessels so they can be seen more clearly on the X-ray. This procedure can help to determine the size and location of a cavernoma.

Biopsy: This is a surgical procedure in which a small tissue sample is removed from the body for examination under a microscope. A biopsy can often confirm the diagnosis of cavernoma.

There are three stages of Cavernoma:

Stage 1: A small lesion, or “seed” cavernoma, forms.

Stage 2: The seed cavernoma grows and forms new blood vessels (neovascularization).

Stage 3: The fully developed cavernoma is made up of a tangle of abnormal.

What are the treatments for Cavernoma?

There are several treatment options for cavernoma, depending on the location and severity of the condition. Treatment options include:

  • Surgery: This is the most common treatment for cavernoma. Surgery involves removing abnormal blood vessels and surrounding tissue.
  • Radiation therapy: This treatment uses high-energy waves to destroy abnormal blood vessels.
  • Interventional radiology: This treatment involves inserting a small tube into the blood vessels and using heat or lasers to destroy the abnormal tissue.

What are the side effects of Cavernoma treatment?

There are several potential side effects of treatments for cavernoma, including surgery, radiosurgery, and embolization. Each treatment option has its own set of potential risks and side effects.

  • Surgical removal of a cavernoma is generally considered safe, but some risks are associated with any surgery, including infection, bleeding, and reaction to anesthesia. There is also a small risk that the cavernoma could recur after surgery.
  • Radiosurgery is a non-invasive treatment option that uses high-energy beams to target and destroy the cavernoma. The potential side effects of radiosurgery include fatigue, headache, and hair loss. There is also a small risk of stroke or seizure after radiosurgery.

Risk Factors for Cavernoma

There are several risk factors associated with cavernoma development. These include:

  • Age: Cavernomas are more common in adults over the age of 40.
  • Family history: Having a family member with a cavernoma increases your risk.
  • Genetic disorders: Certain genetic disorders, such as autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and tuberous sclerosis, increase the risk of cavernoma formation.

How can you reduce your risk of getting Cavernoma?

There are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cavernomas, including:

  • Avoiding head injuries: One of the most important things you can do is avoid any head injury. If you are involved in any activity that could result in a head injury (e.g., bicycling, skateboarding, skiing), wear a helmet.
  • Control your blood pressure: If you have high blood pressure, it is vital to take steps to bring it under control. This will help reduce your risk of developing cavernomas and other health problems.
  • Managing your diabetes: If you have diabetes, it is essential to control your blood sugar levels carefully. This will help reduce your risk of developing cavernomas and other health problems.
  • Avoiding smoking: Cigarette smoking is a crucial risk factor for cavernoma development. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health if you are a smoker.

We are here to help

We know that a Cavernoma AVM diagnosis can be difficult to process. We’re here to help you through it.

Radiant Oncology is proud to offer expert care in all areas of vascular oncology, including Cavernoma AVM care. If you’re met with a Cavernoma AVM diagnosis, we can help you understand what it means for your health and how it will affect your treatment plan. We can also help you understand what treatment options are available to you, as well as the risks and benefits of each option.

If you have any questions about our services or would like to set up an appointment, please contact us today. We’re here to help.