(AVM; Arteriovenous Malformations of the Brain; AMB)
|Arteriovenous Malformation in the Brain|
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- Family history—some types of arteriovenous malformations are from genetic defects that can be passed on from one generation to the next.
- History of bleeding—some types of arteriovenous malformations are linked to an increased risk of bleeding. People with unexplained recurrent bleeding may be at higher risk of having arteriovenous malformations.
- Seizure—occurs in 20%-25% of all cases
- Headaches are a common symptom that affect about 15% of cases. Sometimes headaches linked to one side of the head may be a sign that an arteriovenous malformation is there.
- Muscle weakness
- Paralysis (loss of movement) on one side of the body
- Unable to perform movements but not due to paralysis (also known as apraxia)
- Loss of coordination, especially when walking (also known as ataxia)
- Sudden, severe back pain
- Difficulty speaking or understanding language
- Loss of senses (hearing, taste, or touch)
- Visual problems
- Memory loss
- Difficulty thinking or mental confusion
- Hallucinations (sensing things that do not exist)
- Hydrocephalus (excessive build-up of fluid within the brain—gives the appearance of a large head)
- Angiography or arteriography
- X-rays using a catheter and contrast agent
- Computed axial tomography (CT scan or CAT scan)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA)
Learn about ways to avoid high blood pressure, such as:
- Avoid heavy lifting.
- Stop smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit alcohol.
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in sodium.
- Avoid blood thinners (drugs such as warfarin).
- Continue to see your doctor and a neurologist to regularly check the condition of your arteriovenous malformation.
American Stroke Association http://www.strokeassociation.org/
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) http://www.ninds.nih.gov
HealthLink BC http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/
The Toronto Brain Vascular Malformation Study Group http://brainavm.uhnres.utoronto.ca/
Arteriovenous malformation information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/avms . Updated July 13, 2012. Accessed November 26, 2012.
Choi JH, Mohr JP. Brain arteriovenous malformations in adults. Lancet Neurology . 2005; 4(5):299-308.
Geibprasert, et al. Radiologic assessment of brain arteriovenous malformations: what clinicians need to know. Radiographics . 2010;30(2):483-501.
Ogilvy CS, Stieg PE, Awad I, et al. Recommendations for the management of intracranial arteriovenous malformation: a statement for healthcare professionals from a special writing group of the Stoke Council, American Stroke Association. Stroke . 2001;32:1458.
Van Beijnum J, et al. Treatment of brain arteriovenous malformations: a systematic review and metanalysis. JAMA . 2011;306(18):2011-9.
What is an arteriovenous malformation (AVM)? American Stroke Association website. Available at: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/TypesofStroke/HemorrhagicBleeds/What-Is-an-Arteriovenous-Malformation-AVM%5FUCM%5F310099%5FArticle.jsp . Updated November 12, 2012. Accessed November 26, 2012.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013 -
- Update Date: 00/31/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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