Cerebral Arteriovascular Malformation

Normally arteries and veins are separated by capillaries.  A cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) occurs when there are no capillaries and the arteries directly connect to veins in the brain. AVMs may rupture/bleed or place pressure on parts of the brain.  They vary in size and may occur in various areas of the brain.


Bleeding/ruptured AVM: stroke like symptoms

  • Confusion
  • Ear noise/buzzing
  • Difficulty walking
  • Migraine like headache
  • Seizures

Pressure causing AVM

  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness
  • Face or body muscle weakness
  • Numbness


Treatment will depend on whether the AVM has ruptured or is causing pressure.  A bleeding AVM is a medical emergency and will require surgical treatment.  Your surgeon will discuss the best option for your individual situation.


Referenced: National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Barrow Neurological Institute, National Institute of Health

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