Arteriovenous malformations, or AVMs, occur when an abnormal connection forms between arteries and veins, making a tangle of vessels. AVMs can be found anywhere in the body, but brain and spinal AVMs are especially dangerous when they bleed. If you have an AVM, among other symptoms, you can expect to experience headaches and/or seizures.
AVMs are often found when patients have a brain or spine scan for other health issues or the vessels rupture.
Most AVMs are congenital, meaning patients are born with them. But some can form later in life. Some AVM symptoms occur in patients between ages 10 and 40. See a doctor immediately if you begin to have seizures or severe headaches.
AVM treatment can vary from patient to patient. In some cases the AVM can be removed surgically. If an AVM is too difficult to reach, radiation may be used to eliminate it. This procedure is called sterotactic radiosurgery. Doctors find the location of the AVM with a cerebral angiogram and send high-energy beams to destroy the AVM. Some AVMS don’t require treatment at all, and can be monitored.
If you suspect you have an AVM or would like more information about our services, contact us.