Cavernous Malformations

What is a cavernous malformation?

A cavernous malformation is a small mass that is made up of abnormal, thin-walled blood vessels. These malformations are sometimes called cavernomas, cavernous hemangiomas or occult vascular malformations. Most cavernous malformations are congenital (present at birth).

Cavernous malformations can occur anywhere in the body, but usually only cause serious problems in the brain and spinal cord. They are one of the more common cerebrovascular problems in children. While many people with cavernous malformations never have any problems, they can cause neurologic symptoms and can sometimes be life threatening.

In most cases, cavernous malformations are not diagnosed unless there are symptoms.

Care for cavernous malformations

At Boston Children’s Hospital, our expert clinicians in the Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center treat cavernous malformations and other cerebrovascular conditions.