This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Vein of Galen aneurysm is a rare form of arteriovenous malformation in which the embryonic precursor to the vein of Galen, a vein at the base of the brain, dilates causing too much blood to rush to the heart. This can lead to rapid heart failure. Other features may include increased head circumference resulting from hydrocephalus, unusually prominent veins on the face and scalp, developmental delay, persistent headache, and other neurological findings.
Vein of Galen aneurysm is often recognized on an ultrasound late in pregnancy. In other cases, it is diagnosed after birth. Although the exact cause remains unknown, this condition appears to result from a defect in early fetal development. Treatment is aimed at decreasing the blood flow through the malformation while maximizing the blood supply to the brain. Minimally invasive surgical techniques are preferred, such as endovascular embolization.
For more information, visit GARD.