A brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation) is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins. An AVM is usually congenital, meaning it dates to birth.
An AVM can develop anywhere in your body but occurs most often in the brain or spine. A brain AVM, which appears as a tangle of abnormal arteries and veins, can occur in any part of your brain. The cause isn't clear.
You may not know you have a brain AVM until you experience symptoms, such as headaches or a seizure. In serious cases, the blood vessels rupture, causing bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage). Once diagnosed, a brain AVM can often be treated successfully.
Mar. 21, 2014
- Arteriovenous malformations and other vascular lesions of the central nervous system fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/avms/detail_avms.htm. Accessed Sept. 4, 2013.
- What is an arteriovenous malformation? http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/TypesofStroke/HemorrhagicBleeds/What-Is-an-Arteriovenous-Malformation-AVM_UCM_310099_Article.jsp. American Stroke Association. Accessed Sept. 6, 2013.
- Singer RJ. Brain arteriovenous malformations. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 6, 2013.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Sept. 10, 2013.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 16, 2013.
- Brown RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 11, 2013.
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