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A Cavernous angioma is a blood vessel malformation that appears in the brain, spinal cord or central nervous system. It is characterized one or more capillaries that run parallel to each other, are larger than normal, have little or no brain or nerve tissue between them, and have slower than normal blood flow.
The angioma can have neurological symptoms that present with either brain involvement (such as seizure and headache) or nerve problems (such as numbness or weakness). These symptoms either result from bleeding from the angioma, lower blood flow through the region, or the angioma pressing on other parts of the brain or nerves.
Angiomas are difficult to detect except with an MRI, which generally shows the outline of the area that has been bleeding and had healed. Despite the symptoms, angiomas are far less dangerous than other similar conditions such as aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation. In many cases, the surgery to remove the lesion can be more dangerous than the symptoms. Whether surgery is used generally depends on the age of the patient - children are at lower risks from surgery and higher risks from seizure if the angioma is not removed. Conversely, the elderly are at a very high risk of death due to the surgery and a much lower risk from complications due to the angioma.