Surgical Treatment of Vascular Malformations

Treatment of dural arteriovenous fistulae (DAVF)

These lesions are abnormal artery-to-vein connections in the dura that overlies the brain. DAVFs can usually be treated endovascularly by occluding feeding arteries with embolic agents, or by occluding the venous sinuses on which these fistulas are based. For lesions that are not completely obliterated with endovascular methods, surgery is used to finish the treatment.

Treatment of cavernous angioma

These malformations of capillaries and veins are rare, causing seizures or acute, focal neurological deficits that vary with the lesion location. Cavernous angiomas vary in size from a few millimeters to several inches in diameter. These lesions are managed surgically when they are accessible, enabling removal of the malformation and often curing the seizures. Surgical resection requires careful strategy to reach the lesion without going through any vital brain tissue, often relying on intraoperative computer navigation.

UCSF is designated one of six Centers of Excellence in the nation for the treatment of cavernous malformations by the Angioma Alliance.