Cavernous Malformations

At UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, a team of experts — including a neurologist, neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist — will work with you and your family to develop the best treatment plan for your child.

Treatments include close monitoring or observation and surgery.


If your child's cavernous malformation isn't causing any problems, your child's doctor may recommend that the malformation simply be observed with yearly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to detect changes.

However, it is impossible to predict what will happen with these malformations. Some will cause repeated hemorrhages with worsening symptoms such as difficulty speaking, headaches, seizures, vision problems or weakness in the arms or legs, while others remain inactive and don't cause symptoms for many years.


Surgery is often recommended as treatment. Because these malformations are so distinct from the surrounding brain tissue, in many cases, they can be completely removed without causing problems.

It is important to remove the entire malformation because it can grow back if a small piece is left behind.

The risk of the operation depends on the size and location of the cavernous malformation and the general health of your child.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Stroke & Cerebrovascular Disease Center
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-7596
Fax: (415) 353-2400
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Neurosurgery Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, 5A
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-7500
Fax: (415) 353-2889
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