Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)

Also known as: AVMs

What are arteriovenous malformations?

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are defects of the circulatory system that are thought to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth.They are composed of tangled arteries and veins. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the body's cells; veins return oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs and heart. The presence of an AVM disrupts this vital cyclical process. Although AVMs can develop in many different sites including the skin, those located in the brain or spinal cord-the two parts of the central nervous system can have especially widespread effects on the body.

What are the signs and symptoms of arteriovenous malformations?

There are very few symptoms associated with AVM. Most common symptoms are headaches and seizures. AVM’s can also cause some neurological symptoms which include:

  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness,
  • loss of coordination (ataxia), carrying out tasks
  • trouble understanding language
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • spontaneous pain

What are arteriovenous malformations care options?

AVMs can be detected through a CT scan or an MRI. AVM  treatment is challenging, however some are amenable to surgery and interventional radiology.

This page was last updated on: July 19, 2021 01:57 PM

The International Birthmark Institute

Evaluation and management of all birthmarks with special expertise in vascular birthmarks or vascular anomalies in newborn babies and children.

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