Spinal cord cavernoma

A cavernoma is an abnormal collection of blood vessels within the brain or spinal cord that is sometimes described as looking like a mulberry

About

A spinal cord cavernoma is an abnormal collection of blood vessels in your spinal cord. Cavernomas can compress the structures in your spinal cord, causing weakness or numbnesss of the limbs or other abnormal findings on examination, such as abnormal reflexes. They may bleed into the spinal cord causing sudden onset of these symptoms.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of Spinal cord cavernoma icon plus

    Most are without symptoms, but when problematic they may include:

    • progressive functional deterioration in your limbs
    • a change of sensation in your limbs including pins and needles or numbness
    • bowel and/ or bladder dysfunction
    • pain
     
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will speak to you about your symptoms and perform a physical examination of your spine. They may refer you for an MRI scan to confirm a diagnosis. If confirmed, our multi-disciplinary team will then decide on the best course of treatment for you.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    • Surgery. This involves a general anaesthetic and removal of part of the bone from the back of your spinal vertebra and associated ligaments to access the lining of your spinal cord. Your consultant will then identify the abnormal connection and disconnect it.
    • Intra-operative neurophysiology. A technique used during surgery to detect electrical activity in ambiguous tissue that may have function before removing it.
    • Radiotherapy or radiosurgery (CyberKnife).
     

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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