Our vascular system is a key part of our survival because it allows oxygen and nutrients that our cells need to reach them through the blood. Thus, our lives can be seen in serious danger if this system is damaged, depending on the area and type of blood vessels affected.
Sometimes malformations or neoplasms also occur in the form of uncontrolled and disorganized growths of blood vessels which can also be dangerous, especially if they occur in areas such as the brain. This is what happens with cerebral hemangioma.
What is a hemangioma?
A hemangioma is a type of neoplasm or uncontrolled growth of cells in the blood vessels.. They could be considered a type of benign tumor in the vascular system which, like other tumors, can grow even if they are not malignant.
The hemangioma itself can appear in different areas of the body, such as the skin, but also in areas such as the lungs, stomach, or brain. They can appear as nodules or endothelial caverns filled with blood, which can burst and spill very easily.
While in some cases, they may not cause complications when they occur in organs such as the skin, when they appear in other organs such as the lung or brain they can have devastating consequences.
Cerebral hemangioma, also called cavernous angioma, is a type of hemangioma that occurs in certain areas of the brain. They are generally considered to be the product of birth defects from which they suffer in childhood and during development. In the case of cerebral hemangioma, the consequences of this bleeding can be really dangerous and even the death of the subject.
This is because, like the aneurysm, the presence of hemorrhage inside the brain it can negate and drown neighboring nerve cells, Causing his death and the loss of his duties. And even though the bleeding gets into the nodule itself, it can cause it to grow and compress areas of the brain. It can also cause a stroke.
Depending on the location, the consequences can be one or the other. It is common for headaches, fatigue, seizures, sensory problems to appear. The presence of nausea and vomiting is also common. If they arise in the brainstem, they can affect the cardiorespiratory, digestive or even death of the patient.
In most of the cases they tend to appear supratentorial (I.e. above the cerebellum) in the frontal or temporal lobes, although they can also appear in the cerebellum and protuberance. The ability to move, speak and think may be impaired. In some cases, however, the cerebral hemangioma remains asymptomatic, although there is a risk of bleeding.
Cerebral hemangioma it is usually a congenital malformation in the form of a neoplasm. Its causes are currently little known. However, it has been detected that there are variations such as familial cavernous angioma in which the problem has been associated with genetic mutations on chromosome 7. In other cases where it appears sporadically, it may be due to again to genetic mutations.
Treatment of hemangioma
Treatment for the presence of a cerebral hemangioma can be complex and you should consider the possibility of complications.
In cases where the hemangioma remains stable and does not cause problems or bleeding, treatment may not be done beyond regular monitoring of the case.
Otherwise, the main objective of interventions in this type of malformation is to make the blood stop flowing through them, So that the risk of bleeding is avoided and can be eliminated.
Because the surgery itself can be dangerous, it’s usually reserved for cases where bleeding occurs and the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Resection of the malformation must be complete, otherwise there is an increased risk of bleeding.
For this, they can use various techniques, being frequent embolization of the hemangioma. This procedure is based on the application of substances that clog the blood vessels so that the blood vessel stops carrying blood and becomes tangled. Once entangled, the nodules are removed. They can also be treated with corticosteroids if they are in a slow growing phase, to reduce their size by lowering the level of inflammation of the angioma.
- Cortés, JJ; Barnabas, JM; Riera, N. and Arenas, JJ (2009). Intracranial cavernous angiomas. radiology; 51: 190-193. Alicante, Spain.
- Illa, A .; Alvarez, F .; Muñoz, J .; Ens, J. and García-Blázquez, M. (1995). Treatment of cavernous angiomas. Neurosurgery; 6 (2): 138-145. La Paz Hospital. Madrid.
- Fritschi, JA; Reulen, HJ; Spetzler, RF and Zabramski, JM (1994). Cavernous malformations of the brainstem. A review of 139 cases. Acta Neurochir (Vienna). 1994; 130 (1-4): 35-46. See again.