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High-Flow Vascular Malformations in Children.


Children can have a variety of intracranial vascular anomalies ranging from small and incidental with no clinical consequences to complex lesions that can cause substantial neurologic deficits, heart failure, or profoundly affect development. In contrast to high-flow lesions with direct arterial-to-venous shunts, low-flow lesions such as cavernous malformations are associated with a lower likelihood of substantial hemorrhage, and a more benign course. Management of vascular anomalies in children has to incorporate an understanding of how treatment strategies may affect the normal development of the central nervous system. In this review, we discuss the etiologies, epidemiology, natural history, and genetic risk factors of three high-flow vascular malformations seen in children: brain arteriovenous malformations, intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas, and vein of Galen malformations.

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