Cavernomas are abnormal clusters of blood vessels that form small bubble-like chambers with thin walls, explains Mount Sinai Hospital. The thinness of their walls sometimes allows blood to leak out of them, but blood flow through them is low, and people with cavernomas often show no symptoms. However, these abnormalities can form near the brain and spinal cord, and cause problems. They are often only discovered after a loss of function, a seizure or an MRI scan for unrelated causes.
Cavernomas can cause several complications, including brain hemorrhage, headache, spinal cord injury, limb weakness or mental problems, says Mount Sinai Hospital. Risk for cavernomas can run in families, but many people with the condition have no family history of it. Cavernomas can develop over time because of other abnormalities, such as a venous malformation, or they can be present at birth. About one in every 200 people has a cavernoma.
Treatment for cavernomas depends on their location, how many of them there are, and the amount they bleed, explains Mount Sinai Hospital. If a cavernoma occurs near a venous malformation, this can complicate treatment. The more cavernomas there are, the more likely they are to cause problems. Surgery is the only cure for cavernomas, but medications can mitigate their symptoms.