Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)

Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is an abnormal connection between blood vessels. It happens when the arteries are connected directly to veins without first sending blood through tiny capillaries. An AVM can look like a tangle of blood vessels and can form anywhere in your body, but most often they form in or around the brain and the spinal cord. Here at MD West ONE, we have Neurosurgery and Spine Specialists that can properly diagnose this issue.

Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)

Signs and Symptoms

If you have an AVM, you may not realize it, because many do not cause any issues. When they do, here are some of the symptoms you may display:

  • An AVM in your head
    • headaches
    • confusion
    • seizures
    • buzzing or whooshing noises in your ear
    • dizziness
    • vision problems
  • AVM in your head or spine can cause
    • weakness
    • numbness
    • balance issues
    • pain

What can cause an AVM?

It is unclear what could be causing an AVM at the moment. Most people who have an AVM were born with it.

What are some risks or dangers of having an AVM?

An AVM can keep your brain or spinal cord from getting enough oxygenated blood. An AVM could also rupture and let blood leak out causing you to have a stroke, or a large pool of blood may press harmfully against your brain or spinal cord. A bleeding AVM is a medical emergency.

What type of treatments are there for an AVM? 

AVMs can be removed surgically, treated with a catheter, or radiation techniques. Your healthcare provider will create a plan that is right for you.

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