Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM): Symptoms & Signs

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 arteriovenous malformation symptoms and signs

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