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Brainstem Cavernous Malformation

Last Updated: September 28, 2018

Microsurgical Resection of a Pontine Cavernous Malformation

Brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) account for approximately 20% of all central nervous system CMs, with the majority occurring in the pons. These lesions are more likely to become symptomatic because of their location and proximity to the nearby eloquent structures.

The complex vital anatomy of the brainstem and associated neurovascular structures place important functions at risk during microsurgical removal of brainstem CMs. This matter demands a sophisticated decision-making process when considering whether to operate. The natural history of the lesion and the risk versus the benefits of surgery in avoiding the future risk of hemorrhage and potentially relieving the existing deficits must be balanced before offering surgical treatment.

Clinical Manifestations