A brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a congenital condition involving an abnormal connection between arteries and veins within the brain, causing them to appear as tangled and dilated, and putting patients at risk for hemorrhaging and other serious complications.
AVMs are present at birth and may occur nearly anywhere in the body, but are most common within the brain or spine. The specific cause of this condition is unknown, but it is more common in boys than in girls. Symptoms are likely to present themselves before the age of 50, but may occur at any time.
Symptoms Of AVM
Patients with this condition do not usually experience any symptoms until the AVM ruptures, causing hemorrhaging within the brain. At this time, symptoms may include:
- Weakness and numbness
- Pulsing noise in the head
- Vision loss
- Difficulty speaking
A ruptured AVM is considered a life-threatening condition and requires immediate treatment in order to reduce the risk of serious complications.
A brain AVM can be diagnosed through a regular medical examination performed by a skilled neurologist. Imaging tests such as a CT scan, MRI or cerebral angiography may be performed to confirm the diagnosis and provide more detailed information.