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The Vein of Galen malformation is a congenital communication between arteries and veins. In this case, the communication specifically occurs between a set of deep arteries in the brain called the choroidal arteries and a deep midline vein, the Vein of Galen.
Often a Vein of Galen Malformation will present with symptoms in early infancy or in childhood. In early infancy, these symptoms can include congestive heart failure. Symptoms may occur somewhat later in childhood and the child can manifest enlargement of the head (macrocrania) or a neurocognitive development delay.
In general, the treatment of this disease depends upon the size of the Vein of Galen malformation and the symptoms experienced by the patient. Endovascular therapy is often a mainstay of treatment. This usually involves embolization, often with liquid embolic material (glue) or platinum coils to help occlude (fill) the abnormal communications between the arteries and the veins.
Vein of Galen pre-treatment
Angiogram of a young patient, who presented with enlarging head size shows a large vein of Galen malformation.
Vein of Galen post-treatment
Angiogram following treatment with embolization shows obliteration of the malformation.
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