Your cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels. There are three types of blood vessels in the circulatory system: veins, capillaries, and arteries. Arteriovenous malformation defects (AVM) are defects in the blood vessels of the circulatory system. Read below for arteriovenous malformation brain
A developmental defect is an abnormal combination of veins and arteries. It interferes with the ability of your body to circulate blood. It is usually congenital, which means that the condition is present after birth. Although malformations may start anywhere in your body, some development in the brain and spinal cord region, causing seizures and headaches
Causes of arteriovenous malformation brain
What causes AVM to be unknown. Some doctors believe that they appear in the uterus or shortly after birth and appear later when the child is getting old. Children born with AVM may have a bluish tinge on their skin. This is due to the lack of oxygenated blood circulating in the body. The skin tends to darken to deep red or purple when children age and the condition worsens.
The risk for arteriovenous malformation brain
There are some genetic syndromes that may increase the risk of AVM, such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia or Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome. There are rare reports of AVM in several family members, although it is not clear whether it is genetic or accidental.
Symptoms of arteriovenous malformation brain
Symptoms of AVM vary depending on:
The size of the blood vessels involved in AVM
You can not have significant symptoms if you have AVM in the brain. In some cases, cerebral AVMs cause headaches or convulsions. Unfortunately, due to the lack of symptoms, this type of AVM often goes undiagnosed or unnoticed until it becomes manifest in life-threatening symptoms.
Common brain AVM symptoms include:
cranial bleeding, most often subarachnoid hemorrhage convulsions
headaches focal neurological deficits, such as weakness, numbness or tingling on one part or side of the body
confusion. If AVM is elsewhere in the body, the symptoms may be more pronounced.
Common AVM symptoms in the extremities and spinal cord include:
inability to move the limb
lack of coordination
Common symptoms of AVM in the organs, chest or abdomen are:
pain in the chest
irregular sounds in the affected blood vessels
Some of the symptoms in children under the age of 2 includes:
congestive heart failure in which the heart is unable to pump out the blood that got to her
hydrocephalus, an increase in fluid in the brain that causes swelling.
arteriovenous malformation brain diagnosed
Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and several tests confirming AVM. It is important to exclude other health problems that may mimic the symptoms of AVM. The imaging tools used to diagnose AVM include:
TK: creates detailed images of the interior of the body
MRI: produces images of the brain and its blood vessels (if you have AVM in the brain, it is especially useful to determine exactly where AVM is found and which brain structures it affects)
angiography: visualizes the blood vessels around the head and neck by injecting the dye through the catheter (which is usually inserted through the blood vessel in the groin)
Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA): creates images of blood vessels.
How are arteriovenous malformation brain treated?
Your treatment plan will depend on your age, condition and physical health. The most important goal is to prevent internal bleeding that can lead to stroke or death.
Your doctor may prescribe medication, even if it does not cure AVM. Drugs control pain and convulsions.
An operation to repair or remove damaged blood vessels is an option. The type of operation you will need depends on the type of AVM. There are three options:
Endovascular embolization is used for arteriovenous malformations in the brain or spinal cord tissue. In this procedure, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is guided to the AVM to close the abnormal connection. It does not fix AVM, but it reduces the blood flow to it and makes the operation safer.
Radiosurgery requires the use of a highly concentrated beam of radiation and focusing it directly on the site of AVM. Radiation damages the walls of blood vessels and creates scars that will ultimately stop blood flow to AVM.