Vein of Galen malformation

Case contributed by A.Prof Frank Gaillard


High output cardiac failure. Failed attempt at medical control and weaning from ventilator.

Patient Data

Age: 2 weeks
Gender: Male

A large vascular structure is noted in the midline below the splenium of the corpus callosum, draining into the transverse sinuses. The anterior cerebral arteries are very large as are the posterior cerebral arteries. Features are characteristic of a vein of Galen malformation. 

DSA (angiography)

Malformation fills via PCOM and right PCA branches, and by R (+++) and L (++) ACA subfornical branches. Complete limbic arch. Distal right ACA demonstrates a large high flow fistula into the vein of Galen malformation. 

Attempts to coil the artery at the fistula to allow subsequent glue failed, due to coil prolapsing into VGAM. Hence the malformation itself was embolized with platinum coils to provide basket to allow subsequent occlusion at fistula.  

Distal right ACA then 1:1 NBCA - with good occlusion and penetration to the fistulas, but no penetration beyond coil mass in the malformation. 

Distal right PCA choroidal branch also embolized (not shown) 1:1.8 NBCA - after coil embolization from malformation into terminal artery.  PCA cortical branches arise within mm's of this large branch - despite slow injection, reflux into a small adjacent branch.

At the end of the procedure there was still flow in the malformation but this was decreased, and an increase in BP was noted during treatment consistent with improved cardiac function.  

Angiography courtesy of Prof. Peter Mitchell. 

Case Discussion

Typical appearances of a vein of Galen malformation. 

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Case information

rID: 22821
Published: 25th Apr 2013
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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