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rFVIIa– for acute rebleeding of a cerebral cavernous malformation


Klaus Engelhardt MD, Department of Neurology, Medical University Innsbruck, Anichstraße 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria (tel.: +43 512 504 81664; fax: +43 512 504 24288; e-mail:


Recurrent bleeding episodes of cavernomas especially in the brainstem can cause progressive neurological deficits. Therefore brainstem cavernomas are still a therapeutic dilemma and a treatment challenge for the neuro critical care community. We report a 39-year-old woman with spontaneous ataxia diplopia and vomiting, who has been treated for multiple intracerebral cavernomas during the last 10 years. A cerebral computed tomography (cCT) revealed a re-bleeding cavernoma in the left cerebral peduncle with consecutive obstructive hydrocephalus. As a result of the difficult anatomical location, no surgical approach was possible. As an off-label treatment, recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) was administered to prevent possible further bleeding and especially further sequelae. The patient recovered well and no adverse events and especially no further bleeding of the cavernoma were observed. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the safe and successful use of rFVIIa to treat re-bleeding episodes in cavernomas. Further clinical studies are needed to specify the future potential of rFVIIa.