Arteriovenous malformation or AVM in the majority of cases is a congenital disorder consisting of a connection between veins and arteries, this pathology is universally known because of its occurrence in the central nervous system, but can appear in any location.
The genetic transmission patterns of AVM -if any- are unknown, and AVM is not generally thought to be an inherited disorder, unless in the context of a specific hereditary syndrome.
The most general symptoms include headache and epilepsy, with more specific symptoms occurring that normally depend on the location of the malformation and the individual. Other possible symptoms include:
If the capillary bed is thought of as a sponge, then an AVM is the rough equivalent of jamming a tangle of flexible soda straws from artery to vein through that sponge. On arteriogram films AVM formation often resemble a tangle of spaghetti noodles. This tangle of blood vessels forms a relatively direct connection between high pressure arteries and low pressure veins.
The result is a collection of blood vessels with abnormal connections and no capillaries. This collection, often called a nidus, can be extremely fragile and prone to bleeding.
This bleeding can be devastating, particularly in the brain. It can cause severe and often fatal strokes. If detected before a stroke occurs, usually the arteries feeding blood into the nidus can be closed off, ensuring the safety of the patient.
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