Intracranial arteriovenous malformation
- Intracranial AVM
Intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are abnormal connections between the arteries and veins in the brain. Most people with brain or spinal AVMs experience few, if any, major symptoms. About 12 percent of people with this condition experience symptoms that vary greatly in severity. Seizures and headaches are the most common symptoms of AVMs but individuals can also experience a wide range of other neurological symptoms. AVMs can cause hemorrhage (bleeding) in the brain, which can be fatal. Symptoms can appear at any age, but are most often noticed when people are in their twenties, thirties, or forties. The cause of AVMs is not yet well understood but it is believed that AVMs result from mistakes that occur during embryonic or fetal development. Medication is used to treat general symptoms such as headache, back pain, and seizures caused by AVMs. However, the best treatment for AVMs is often surgery or sterotactic radiosurgery.
- Arteriovenous malformation-cerebral. Medline Plus. 2010; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000779.htm. Accessed 6/18/2012.
- National Institute of Neurological Disrders and Stroke. Arteriovenous Malformation Information Page. February 28, 2012; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/avms/avms.htm. Accessed 6/18/2012.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.