Cavernous malformations of the brainstem in infants. Report of two cases and review of the literature

Bruno P. Braga, Leodante B. Costa, Sergio Lemos, Marcelo D. Vilela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cavernous malformations of the brainstem (CMB) occur less commonly in children than in adults. Their appearance is even rarer in infants, with only five cases reported in the literature. The authors report two additional cases in which giant CMBs were diagnosed in two infants, one when the patient was 1 month old and the other when the patient was 15 months old. A median suboccipital approach in one patient and a pterional-orbitozygomatic approach in the other were used to obtain complete resection of the malformations. Excellent outcomes were achieved in both children. A review of the literature is also presented. It seems that CMBs in infants usually follow a progressive course of growth and associated neurological deterioration. Patients with symptomatic lesions abutting the pial surface should undergo surgical treatment with the goal of cure. An increase may be expected in the number of CMBs diagnosed in children as a result of regular screening of relatives with the familial form of the disease. Nevertheless, due to the small confines of the brainstem, incidental or asymptomatic CMB should still be extraordinary. In the case of such a rare occurrence, conservative treatment should be advocated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-433
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Brainstem
  • Cavernoma
  • Cavernous malformation
  • Infant
  • Orbitozygomatic approach
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Suboccipital approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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