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Arteriovenous Malformations

Also called: AVM

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are defects in your vascular system. The vascular system includes arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries carry blood away from the heart to other organs; veins carry blood back to the heart. Capillaries connect the arteries and veins. An AVM is a snarled tangle of arteries and veins. They are connected to each other, with no capillaries. That interferes with the blood circulation in an organ.

AVMs can happen anywhere, but they are more common in the brain or spinal cord. Most people with brain or spinal cord AVMs have few, if any, major symptoms. Sometimes they can cause seizures or headaches.

AVMs are rare. The cause is not known, but they seem to develop during pregnancy or soon after birth. Doctors use imaging tests to detect them.

Medicines can help with the symptoms from AVMs. The greatest danger is hemorrhage. Treatment for AVMs can include surgery or focused radiation therapy. Because surgery can be risky, you and your doctor need to make a decision carefully.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Arteriovenous Malformations

The following features are indicative of Arteriovenous Malformations:
  • headache
  • epileptic seizures
  • muscle weakness
  • dizziness
  • paralysis
  • numbness
  • dysarthria
  • confusion
  • dementia
It is possible that Arteriovenous Malformations shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Arteriovenous Malformations

The following are the most common causes of Arteriovenous Malformations:
  • autosomal dominant diseases
  • hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia

Risk Factors for Arteriovenous Malformations

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Arteriovenous Malformations:
  • smoking
  • haemorrhage

Prevention of Arteriovenous Malformations

No, it is not possible to prevent Arteriovenous Malformations.
  • RASA1 gene mutations

Occurrence of Arteriovenous Malformations

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Arteriovenous Malformations cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Arteriovenous Malformations most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 35-50 years

Common Gender

Arteriovenous Malformations can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Arteriovenous Malformations

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Arteriovenous Malformations:
  • Computed tomography brain scan: To detect brain arteriovenous malformations
  • Magnetic resonance imaging brain scan: To detect brain arteriovenous malformations
  • Cerebral angiogram: To view the pictures of all the blood vessels in the brain and to identify the type of arteriovenous malformations

Doctor for Diagnosis of Arteriovenous Malformations

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Arteriovenous Malformations:
  • Vascular neurosurgeons
  • Radiation therapists
  • Interventional neuroradiologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Endovascular neurosurgeons
  • Stroke neurologists
  • Neuroradiologists

Complications of Arteriovenous Malformations if untreated

Yes, Arteriovenous Malformations causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Arteriovenous Malformations is left untreated:
  • hemorrhage

Procedures for Treatment of Arteriovenous Malformations

The following procedures are used to treat Arteriovenous Malformations:
  • Microsurgical resection: To remove the arteriovenous malformation
  • Radiosurgery: Closes the vessels in the lesion

Self-care for Arteriovenous Malformations

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Arteriovenous Malformations:
  • Educate yourself: Learn enough about arteriovenous malformation to make informed decisions about your care

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Arteriovenous Malformations

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Arteriovenous Malformations:
  • Embolization: To reduce the blood flow through the arteriovenous malformation

Patient Support for Treatment of Arteriovenous Malformations

The following actions may help Arteriovenous Malformations patients:
  • Keep close relationships with friends and family: Serves as emotional support
  • Learn enough about brain arteriovenous malformation to make informed decisions about your care: Makes you more confident in making treatment decisions
  • Find someone to talk with: Joining the support group may also be helpful

Time for Treatment of Arteriovenous Malformations

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Arteriovenous Malformations to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Arteriovenous Malformations.

Related Topics

Hemorrhagic Stroke

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