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Outcome of vein of Galen malformation presenting in the neonatal period
  1. Stephanie Malarbi1,
  2. Julia K Gunn-Charlton1,2,
  3. Alice C Burnett1,2,
  4. Trisha M Prentice1,2,3,
  5. Amy Williams1,
  6. Peter Mitchell4,
  7. Alison Wray5,
  8. Rod W Hunt1,2,6
  1. 1 Neonatal Medicine, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Clinical Sciences, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  3. 3 School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Department of Radiology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  5. 5 Department of Neurosurgery, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  6. 6 Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rod W Hunt, Neonatal Medicine, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia; dr.rod.hunt{at}


Objective Vein of Galenaneurysmal malformation (VGAM) is a rare but important congenital malformation presenting to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), and with a change from surgical to endovascular management, survival for this condition has improved. However, there is little reported about the medical management decisions of infants with this condition and the associated long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. We aim to report a single centre experience of both acute treatment and long-term outcomes of VGAM for those infants admitted to our NICU soon after birth.

Design Retrospective cohort study over a 15-year period from 2001 to 2015 inclusive.

Setting A quaternary NICU at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Participants 24 newborn infants referred for management of VGAM. There were no eligibility criteria set for this study; all presenting infants were included.

Interventions None.

Main outcomes measures Clinical neuroimaging data were gathered. Surviving children were formally assessed with a battery of tests administered by a neuropsychologist and occupational therapist/physiotherapist at various ages across early to middle childhood.

Results Fifteen neonates with VGAM did not survive beyond their NICU admission. 10 of these were not offered endovascular intervention. Of the nine surviving infants, only one had a normal neurodevelopmental outcome.

Conclusions The mortality of VGAM presenting in the neonatal period was high, and rates of normal neurodevelopmental outcome for survivors were low. These findings contribute to our understanding of which neonates should be treated and highlights the importance of providing clinical neurodevelopmental follow-up to survivors beyond their infant years.

  • vein of Galen malformation
  • VGAM
  • neurodevelopmental outcome
  • neonatal
  • NICU

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  • Contributors SM, ACB and AW data collection and interpretation, manuscript preparation. JKG research conceptualisation, data collection and manuscript preparation. TMP research conceptualisation and manuscript preparation. PM and AW data interpretation and manuscript preparation. RH research conceptualisation and design, data interpretation and manuscript preparation.

  • Funding The following research was funded through The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Unpublished data have not been made available to persons outside the research team.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.