Normally blood flows from the heart through large arteries to all areas of the body. The arteries branch and get smaller until they become a capillary, which is just a single cell thick. The capillary bed is where the blood exchanges oxygen and nutrients with the body tissues and picks up waste. The blood travels from the capillary bed back to the heart through veins. In AVM, arteries connect directly to veins without a capillary bed.
The symptoms of AVMs vary depending on their type and location. While migraine-like headaches and seizures are general symptoms, most AVMs do not show symptoms (asymptomatic) until a bleed occurs. Common signs of brain AVMs are:
1. Sudden onset of a severe headache, vomiting, stiff neck.
4.Bruit an abnormal swishing or ringing sound in the ear caused by blood pulsing through the AVM
Surgery, endovascular therapy, and radiosurgery can be used alone or in combination to treat an AVM. Endovascular embolization is often performed before surgery to reduce the AVM size and risk of operative bleeding. Radiosurgery or embolization may be used after surgery to treat any remaining portions of the AVM. Your neurosurgeon will discuss with you all the options and recommend a treatment that is best for your individual case. Although arteriovenous malformations are thought to represent a congenital abnormality, they are thought to develop over time and are rarely found incidentally in the very young.