Lindsey Sellears, Samira Shahbandy
Ms. Gibson,1st Period
March 13, 2015
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.
It is believed to be developed during fetal development.
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.
AVMs are very rare; only 1 in 100,000 people are diagnosed with AVMs.
AVMs cannot be prevented.
• Risk Factors
Risk factors include being male and having a family history of AVMs.
Complications include hemorrhage of the blood vessels, reduced oxygen to brain tissue, thin or weak blood vessels, and brain damage
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.
"The American Association of Neurological Surgeons." AANS. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015 <http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Arteriovenous%20Malformations.aspx>.
The Mayo Clinic Staff. "Brain AVM (arteriovenous Malformation)." Treatments and Drugs. N.p., 21 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/brain-avm/basics/treatment/con-20034230>