[Analysis of a series of cavernomas of the central nervous system: 39 non operated cases, 39 operated cases, 1 dead]

H Ghannane, T Khalil, L Sakka, J Chazal
Neuro-Chirurgie 2007, 53 (2): 217-22
Cavernomas are vascular malformations frequently localized in the central nervous system. Debate remains open concerning proper treatment. We reviewed a series of cavernomas in order to collect information concerning the natural history. This retrospective study concerned 79 patients seen over a 15-year period. The epidemiologic, clinical, radiological, therapeutic and follow-up data were analyzed. The cavernomas were encephalic (including brain stem and cerebellum) in 74 patients, and in the spinal cord in 5 patients. Average age was 40.08 years, without sex predominance. The most frequent clinical sign was a focal neurological deficit. The cavernoma was solitary in 71 patients. The subtentorial localization was most frequent (44 cases). Bleeding was observed in 31 patients giving a hemorrhagic risk of 0.013%/patient/year. One patient died at admission, 39 were operated and surgical abstention with clinical and radiological follow up was decided for 39 patients (no bleeding in 64.2%). The course in these patients was marked by bleeding in six during 29.5 months follow-up of (rate of hemorrhagic risk 6.27%/patient/year). These results are not in total agreement with the literature. They demonstrate the difficulties for an exact evaluation of the hemorrhagic risk in cavernomas of the central nervous system. So, it is very important to meticulously discuss surgical indications.

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