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Classification of cerebral vascular malformations

Cerebral vascular malformations encompass a large variety vascular lesions which differ in hemodynamics, structure and prognosis. Some can be life threatening (e.g. vein of Galen aneurysmal malformationsarteriovenous malformations) whilst others are almost always incidental and asymptomatic (e.g. capillary telangiectasiasdevelopmental venous anomalies).


Over the years cerebral vascular malformations have been classified in a variety of ways by many authors, often on the basis of the presence or absence of arteriovenous shunting, histopathological features or demographics of affected individuals (see below) 4.

Presence or absence of shunting
Cerebral vascular malformations with shunting
Cerebral vascular malformations without shunting
Arterial lesions
Capillary lesions
Venous lesions
Pediatric (age dependent) 

Some lesions are only encountered in specific age-groups, usually within early childhood.  

  • in utero: pilal high flow AVF, VGAM, DSM
  • neonate: VGAM, pial high flow AVF, DSM
  • infant: VGAM, pial AVMs, cavernous angiomas, aneurysm
  • child: pial AVM (nidal > fistulous), aneurysm, cavernous venous malformation (cavernoma), dural AVF

Article information

rID: 28054
Tag: pm, pm
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Intracranial vascular malformations

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