Cavernous malformations of the brain and spinal cord are clusters of tiny, thin-walled blood vessels that are filled with slow-moving or clotted blood. Since they are fragile, they can bleed and potentially cause a brain dysfunction or seizure. Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are the most common. They can appear as single lesions or be part of a genetic syndrome in which multiple CCMs are present.
Many people with cavernous malformations never experience symptoms. The type and severity of symptoms varies according to the CCM’s size and location. Possible symptoms may include:
Whether the CCM has caused bleeding or not, the following advanced imaging techniques may be used to diagnose it:
Depending on the location of the CCM, your doctor may decide to monitor it with regular MRIs. If surgical removal is necessary, the cerebrovascular surgeons at UCLA are expertly trained in this specialized procedure and have performed a high volume of these complex surgeries. We are able to perform these surgeries in the most minimally invasive way possible, removing the CCM with the least disruption of normal tissue.