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Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)

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An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) consists of tangled arteries and veins in the brain or on the spinal cord. AVMs often cause few symptoms, but a cerebral arteriovenous malformation may cut off blood and oxygen to brain cells and possibly rupture.  The skilled physicians and health care professionals at the Florida Hospital Neuroscience Institute specialize in the most advanced treatments for arteriovenous malformation including the non-invasive Leksell Gamma Knife© 4C. Each year, these nationally recognized leaders in neuroscience help many patients with disorders of the nervous system achieve successful outcomes. People with symptoms of AVM are encouraged to seek an early consultation with the physicians at the Florida Hospital Neuroscience Institute.

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A cerebral AVM is a rare defect in the blood vessels in the brain that occurs when arteries and veins connect directly to each other instead of through the capillaries as they normally should, reducing oxygen to the brain cells. Blood flows through a passage called a fistula between the two vessels. AVMs develop during pregnancy or soon after birth and may vary in size and location in the brain.

Many people with an arteriovenous malformation often experience few symptoms; however, the condition can cause headaches and possibly seizures. Of greatest concern is an AVM rupture that results from pressure and damage to blood vessels, allowing blood to leak into surrounding tissue. While this often results in no neurological damage, a massive hemorrhage can be fatal.

Even if no bleeding or oxygen deprivation occurs, an AVM may cause damage if it grows large enough. Depending on the amount of blood vessels involved, the tangle may become as large as 2-1/2 inches. At that size, it can put pressure on surrounding structures.

Locations for Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)