Intracranial vascular malformations are seen increasingly in clinical practice, primarily because of advances in cross-sectional brain and spinal cord imaging. Commonly encountered lesion types include arteriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations, venous malformations, dural arteriovenous fistulas, and capillary telangiectasias. Patients can experience various symptoms and signs at presentation. The natural history of vascular malformations depends on lesion type, location, size, and overall hemodynamics. The natural history for each lesion subtype is reviewed, with special consideration of the risk of hemorrhage or other adverse outcomes after the lesion is detected and any known predictors of hemorrhage or other outcomes. In practice, these data are compared with the risk of available treatment options as the optimal management is clarified. A multidisciplinary approach including neurosurgery, radiosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, and vascular neurology is most useful in determining the best management strategy.
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