What are vein of Galen malformations?

Also known as: vein of Galen aneurysmal malformations, VOGM

The vein of Galen is a large vessel in the brain that drains the front and central parts of the brain. During early fetal development (6-11 weeks) the barrier between the very small arteries and the veins that normally slows the blood flow down, are missing, causing the blood to flow faster between artery and vein (arteriovenous malformation). This can result in the vein of Galen bulging (aneurysm). As the heart tries to keep up with the increased blood flow, it may fail (heart failure). The malformation can bleed into the brain, grow larger and/or cause other brain problems.

What causes vein of Galen malformations?

Researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes vein of Galen malformations. It’s a defect that is present at birth & babies with it tend to have other types of arteriovenous malformations.

What are the symptoms of vein of Galen malformations?

Symptoms may include signs of heart failure (difficult, fast breathing, bluish skin, poor feeding, etc), have a rapidly growing big head with fluid on the brain (hydrocephalus), seizures, and other symptoms.

What are vein of Galen malformations care options?

Treatment usually requires the services of a neurologist, neurosurgeon and an interventional neuroradiologist and may include neurosurgery, radiotherapy and endovascular treatments. The timing of the procedures will vary depending on the type and severity of the complications, but they typically begin shortly after birth. Nicklaus Children's hospital has a full range of professional services required for outstanding care.


LogoProviding a full spectrum of care for Neurovascular disorders in children

Part of the hospital's world-renowned Brain Institute, which is consistently ranked among the top programs in the nation for pediatric neurology and neurosurgery, the Nicklaus Children's Hospital's Neurovascular Center of Excellence is one of only a few centers of its kind in the nation and is the only center in South Florida specializing in treatment of children with vascular malformations and stroke.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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