Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM): Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

An arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is a birth defect of the circulatory system that occurs in the brain, brainstem, or spinal cord. An arteriovenous malformation is composed of a complex formation of abnormal, tangled arteries and veins with abnormal communications between the blood vessels, leading to abnormalities in the flow of blood.

Arteriovenous malformations usually do not produce symptoms and may be found incidentally during an examination for other reasons. In other cases, they may produce serious and life-threatening symptoms, including mild to severe headache in one area of the head, seizures, weakness or paralysis in one part of the body, vision less, unsteadiness, confusion, or problems with speaking. Other associated symptoms can include gait disturbances, numbness, tingling, hallucinations, inability to understand others' speech, or difficulties carrying out tasks.

Other Causes of Arteriovenous Malformation Symptoms and Signs

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

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Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019
References
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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