Developmental Venous Anomaly (DVA)
What is a DVA?
DVAs, also known as venous angiomas, are a variation of normal brain anatomy and are found in up to 5% of people. They are blood vessels that provide a channel for blood to leave the brain. DVAs are seen in the cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum and can also be associated with cavernous malformations. They are generally benign findings and only rarely present with seizures or hemorrhage.
How is a DVA diagnosed?
In most cases, DVAs are found incidentally when a CT or MRI is done. They are usually not associated with symptoms. Cerebral angiography clearly shows DVAs but is often not necessary in order to establish the diagnosis.
How are DVAs treated?
In most cases, no treatment is needed for a DVA, and no further brain scans are needed. Occasionally, observation with imaging may be recommended. It is important to recognize that DVAs are a variation in the normal anatomic pattern of blood flow. The blood vessels in a DVA are important as they help blood flow away from the brain and back to the heart. They usually cannot be removed.
At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, we are experts in the management of adults and children with DVAs. Again, in most instances they do not need aggressive follow up but, when necessary, our multidisciplinary team can prescribe comprehensive management.
For more information, please contact us.
Page reviewed on: Sep 02, 2014
Page reviewed by: Robert J. Singer, MD
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