Developmental Venous Anomaly

  • Spyridon Kollias
  • Iris Blume


DVAs are the most common type of intracranial vascular malformation and are considered low flow conditions. They are typically an incidental finding on CT or MRI during diagnostic evaluation for a wide range of symptoms which are rarely attributed to the DVA itself. A DVA is composed of linear branching veins (the “caput medusa”) which drain into a single larger collecting vein and eventually into the superficial or deep venous system. They can be associated with other vascular malformations predominantly cavernomas but many other associated lesions and parenchymal changes have been described in the adult and pediatric population. In children there have been various reports of DVAs with associated cavernoma, lymphatic or venolymphatic malformations, focal cortical dysplasia’s, epilepsy, brain tumors, hydrocephalus due to aqueduct obstruction or unilateral sensorineural hearing loss. The role of DVAs in the venous drainage of normal brain parenchyma shouldn’t be underestimated since surgical resection can lead to severe complications such as venous infarction and hemorrhage. Yet the morbidity of DVA is mostly related to the associated lesions rather than to the DVAs.


Developmental venous anomaly Caput medusa Vascular malformation Associated lesions such as cavernoma Incidental finding Don’t touch lesion 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuroradiologyUniversity Hospital ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Pediatric NeuroradiologyUniversity Childrens Hospital Zurich/University Hospital ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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