Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Home / A–Z Services / Neurovascular Center / What We Treat / Developmental Venous Anomaly
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Developmental Venous Anomaly


What is a Developmental Venous Anomaly (DVA)?

DVAs, also known as venous angiomas, are a variation of normal brain anatomy found in up to 5 percent of people. They are blood vessels that provide a channel for blood to leave the brain. Looking through a microscope, they appear largely normal. DVAs are usually found in the cerebral hemispheres, but can also be seen in relation to cavernous malformations (CM). DVAs are considered benign lesions. They may uncommonly lead to seizures, progressive neurologic problems, and hemorrhage. Headache is the most common symptom, followed by seizures and abnormal sensation or movement. Having these symptoms does not necessarily that a person has a DVA.

dva venous anomaly

How is a DVA diagnosed?

In most cases, DVAs are found by accident when a head CT scan and MRI of the brain is done. Cerebral angiography is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of DVAs and is used when necessary to define anatomy.

How are DVAs treated?

In most cases, no treatment is needed for a DVA, and no further brain scans are needed. Occasionally, observation with imaging may be recommended. It is important to recognize that DVAs are a variation in the normal anatomic pattern of blood flow. The blood vessels in a DVA are important as they help blood flow away from the brain and back to the heart. They usually cannot be removed.

At Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, we are experts at diagnosing and treating children with DVAs. Through our multidisciplinary center, we provide resources for comprehensive treatment, long-term follow-up and support for patients and families.

For more information, please contact us.

Last Edited: July 1, 2016
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