Prevalence of Developmental Venous Anomalies Increases With Age

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Background and Purpose—

To test the hypothesis that developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) may develop in the postnatal period, we studied the age-related prevalence of DVAs on contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging.


Reports from a consecutive series of head magnetic resonance images with intravenous contrast performed over a 2-year period at our institution were reviewed. Studies reporting the presence of a DVA were retrieved and reviewed by a neuroradiologist. Patients were divided into 4 age groups: (1) <1 year old (neonates/infants), (2) 1 to 5 years old (toddlers and preschoolers), (3) 6 to 17 years old (grade schoolers), and (4) ≥18 years old (adults), and DVA prevalence by age group was studied.


A total of 18 073 individuals were included. DVA prevalence in the neonate/infant age group was 1.5% (5/335) compared with 7.1% (51/714) in the toddler/preschool age group. In both the grade-school age group and adult age group, DVA prevalence was 9.6% (150/1557 and 1483/15 467, respectively). Neonates/infants were significantly less likely to have DVAs than other age groups (P<0.001).


We found a very low prevalence of DVAs on contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging in patients <1 year old which was significantly lower than other age groups. These findings suggest that postnatal changes in venous architecture and drainage patterns may contribute to the development of DVAs.

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