An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is related to several other types of lesions that occur in the brain and spinal cord. While the other related conditions affect just one blood vessel, an AVM is unique in that it involves multiple blood vessels and much more unstable.
Related conditions of arteriovenous malformations include:
- Cavernous malformation – a group of tightly packed, small blood vessels that displace normal brain or spinal cord tissue; usually not as prone to hemorrhage as an AVM but some people may experience seizures
- Capillary telangiectases – capillaries become swollen, but because of their microscopic size rarely lead to extensive damage.
- Venous malformations – veins become enlarged but in most cases does not cause interference with blood flow and rarely causes symptoms
In addition to hemorrhage and the potential for stroke, AVMs are related to a number of possible complications, such as brain damage from pressure put on surrounding tissue and oxygen deprivation. Other related conditions include:
- Hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain)
- Persistent headaches
- Changes in vision
- Difficulty with language
- Weakness in a particular area of the body