Arteriovenous malformation

 

Definition of an arteriovenous malformation

 

Cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a rare vascular malformation in which there is a tangle of vessels that forms between the typical arteries and veins of the brain. The blood pressure may be abnormally high within the malformation which can lead to rupture of the AVM and bleeding inside the brain. The majority of AVMs are thought to be congenital defects, with the AVM developing within the fourth to the eighth week in utero. There is a severe type of AVM called a vein of Galen defect, which is often diagnosed shortly after birth.

 

 

 

 

 

Symptoms of an arteriovenous malformation

Symptoms of an arteriovenous malformation

 

While many arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are discovered during imaging exams for another medical condition, AVMs are most often discovered when they rupture. Symptoms known to be associated with AVMs include :

  • seizures
  • localized headache
  • weakness or numbness
  • vision loss
  • difficulty speaking
  • confusion or inability to understand others
  • severe unsteadiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treatments for arteriovenous malformations

Treatments for arteriovenous malformations

 

Treatment for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) aims to prevent hemorrhage or re-hemorrhage. They can be treated with either open surgery, endovascular embolization, targeted radiation, or a combination of approaches. Frequently, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are pretreated endovascularly followed by open surgical resection. The objective of this approach is to reduce the potential for bleeding during the resection. The most commonly used strategy for endovascular treatment of AVMs involves the use of liquid embolic agents. In this procedure, the neuro-interventionalist advances a small catheter close to the AVM and injects a liquid agent into the bloodstream. This liquid hardens when it is in the AVM to prevent continued blood flow within AVM.