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Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)



An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a congenital defect between the arteries and veins. The condition affects the connection between these blood vessels, and disrupts the flow of blood between them. Although this defect can occur anywhere, AVMs are most common in the brain or spine. It is common for people not to know that they have an arteriovenous malformation for many years — or even until they reach adulthood. You may not know that you have an AVM in your brain until you experience symptoms. A ruptured AVM is a medical emergency.






Possible treatments for an arteriovenous malformation include:

  • Microsurgery to remove the AVM
  • Some AVMs can be treated by microsurgical resection, where a doctor will:
  • Perform a small craniotomy 
  • Use a microscope to guide the complete removal of the AVM
  • Coagulate any feeding arteries

Embolization to block blood flow to the AVM

Endovascular embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the threading of a small catheter or tube through a blood vessel in the groin, which is then navigated to blood vessels in the brain to block blood flow