Infratentorial Developmental Venous Abnormalities and Inflammation Increase Odds of Sporadic Cavernous Malformation

Shivram Kumar, Giuseppe Lanzino, Waleed Brinjikji, Kate W. Hocquard, Kelly D. Flemming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Goal: Sporadic brain cavernous malformations commonly correlate with developmental venous anomalies; however, developmental venous anomalies may exist without cavernous malformations. Infratentorial location and specific angioarchitectural features of the developmental venous anomaly increase the odds of a concomitant malformation. Animal data also suggest chronic inflammatory disease, oxidative stress, and angiogenesis promote cavernous malformation development. We sought to determine potential clinical and radiologic factors promoting development of sporadic cavernous malformations. Methods: One hundred and forty-five patients with sporadic, nonradiation-induced brain cavernous malformations (63 with radiologic-apparent and 82 with radiologic-occult developmental venous anomalies) were compared to developmental venous anomaly controls without associated malformation. Data collection included demographic information, comorbidities, medications at diagnosis, and location of the developmental venous anomaly and/or malformation. Logistic regression with likelihood ratios, odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated comparing malformation cases with controls. A similar analysis compared malformations with radiologic-apparent anomalies to controls. Results: Compared to controls, cases were more likely to have had a major infectious illness (10.3% versus 2.3%; P = .0003 and/or chronic inflammatory disease (31.7% versus 21.3%; P = .0184) prior to diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging. Infratentorial location was more common in cavernous malformation cases (31.7% versus 15.7% controls; P ≤ .0001) with similar findings in cavernous malformation with radiologic-apparent developmental venous anomalies versus controls. Conclusions: Infratentorial developmental venous anomalies location, major infectious illness, and chronic inflammatory disorders increase the odds of sporadic cavernous malformation formation. Inflammation may promote local thrombosis of developmental venous anomalies, trigger angiogenic response through increased vascular permeability, or promote cavernous malformation through Toll-like receptor 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1662-1667
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Cavernous malformation
  • case-control
  • cavernoma
  • chronic inflammation
  • developmental venous anomaly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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