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Cavernomas in the central nervous system and the relevance of multiple intracranial lesions in the familial form of this disease
  1. R J STACEY,
  3. P M FOY,
  1. The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool L9, UK
  1. RJ Stacey, Department of Neurosurgery, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London WC1N, UK.

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The availability of MRI has greatly increased the detection of cavernous malformations of the CNS in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. These lesions may be responsible for previously unexplained neurological events or may even have been incorrectly diagnosed. Cavernomas have a characteristic MRI appearance consisting of an area of mixed signal intensity, thought to be due to extracellular methaemoglobin, surrounded by an area of reduced signal intensity reflecting a zone of haemosiderin. Missing an angiographically occult vascular malformation on MRI seems likely only if the lesion contains no haemoglobin breakdown products or is microscopically so small as to be unidentifiable. This may explain the sudden appearance or “growth” of cavernomas occasionally described.

The family tree. Males appear as squares and females as circles. Affected people are shaded and those who are dead appear with an oblique slash. …

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