Ateriovenous Malformation

Lindsey Sellears, Samira Shahbandy

Ms. Gibson,1st Period

March 13, 2015

Arteriovenous Malformation

• Disorder

            An arteriovenous Malformation, AVM, is an abnormal connection of blood                  vessels. They can occur anywhere in the body, but they are most common in the brain      and spine.

• Causes

             It is believed to be developed during fetal development.

• Symptoms

             Symptoms include seizures, a whooshing sound that can be heard during                   examination of the skull with a stethoscope, headache, and progressive weakness or       numbness. Depending on the location of the AVM, patients may experience severe           headache, weakness, numbness or paralysis, vision loss, difficulty speaking, inability       to understand others, and severe unsteadiness.

• Diagnostic Tests

           The best test to diagnose an AVM is a cerebral arteriography, where a catheter is        inserted into an artery in the groin and is threaded up to the brain. This is the most           accurate test, because the characteristics and location of the arteries and veins can be     seen. Computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging scans      (MRI) can also help to diagnose an AVM.

• Incidence

        AVMs are very rare; only 1 in 100,000 people are diagnosed with AVMs.

• Prevention

       AVMs cannot be prevented.

• Risk Factors

      Risk factors include being male and having a family history of AVMs.

• Complications

      Complications include hemorrhage of the blood vessels, reduced oxygen to brain          tissue, thin or weak blood vessels, and brain damage

• Treatment

      Treatment options include surgical removal, endovascular embolization, and     stereotactic radiosurgery. Surgical removal involves snipping the AVM from surrounding   brain tissue. Endovascular Embolization is done by feeding a catheter through an artery   in the groin and threading it up to the brain, where a glue-like substance will be placed     in the AVM. This will reduce or stop the blood flow in the AVM. Stereotactic embolization   uses radiation to clot off the artereies and veins feeding the AVM.


                                                            Works Cited

"The American Association of Neurological Surgeons." AANS. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015 <>.

The Mayo Clinic Staff. "Brain AVM (arteriovenous Malformation)." Treatments and Drugs. N.p., 21 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. <>

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