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Vein of Galen aneurysm

Other Names for this Disease
  • Ectasia or varix of the vein of Galen
  • Galen vein aneurysm
  • Galenic arteriovenous malformation
  • Vein of Galen aneurysm malformation
  • VGAM
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Vein of Galen aneurysm is a rare form of arteriovenous malformation in which a particular vein at the base of the brain, the vein of Galen, dilates causing too much blood to rush to the heart and leading to congestive heart failure. Sometimes the defect will be recognized on an ultrasound before birth, but most often it is seen in infants who experience rapid heart failure. In less severe cases, a child may develop hydrocephalus because the enlarged malformation blocks the normal flow or absorption of cerebrospinal fluid. Although the exact cause remains unknown, this condition appears to be a result of a defect in early fetal development.[1][2]
Last updated: 9/15/2011


  1. Lasjaunias P & Alvarez H. Vein of Galen aneurysm. Orphanet. March 2007; Accessed 9/15/2011.
  2. Vascular Malformations of the Brain. Children's Hospital Boston. Accessed 9/15/2011.
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