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Arteriovenous Malformations - Symptoms and Treatment
A cerebral arteriovenous malformation is a birth defect in which there is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain. The arteries carry blood rich with oxygen from the lungs, and the veins carry blood back to the heart for recirculation. Each vessel is normally separate and travels in its own pathway. In an AVM, the blood vessels are tangled together and do not travel in their own path. Much like a small ball of string, the vessels are wrapped around each other. Most people with neurological AVMs experience few, if any, significant symptoms. The malformations tend to be discovered only incidentally, usually either at autopsy or during treatment for an unrelated disorder. But for about 12 percent of the affected population (about 36,000 of the estimated 300,000 Americans with AVMs), these abnormalities cause symptoms that vary greatly in severity. Seizures and headaches are the most generalized symptoms. AVMs also can cause a wide range of more specific neurological symptoms that vary from person to person, depending primarily upon the location of the AVM. Such symptoms may include muscle weakness or paralysis, loss of coordination, difficulties carrying out tasks that require planning, dizziness, visual disturbances, problems using or understanding language, abnormal sensations (such as numbness, tingling, or spontaneous pain), memory deficits, mental confusion, hallucinations, or dementia.
Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are defects of the circulatory system that are generally believed to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth. The genetic transmission patterns of AVM (if any) are unknown, and AVM is not generally thought to be an inherited disorder unless in the context of a specific hereditary syndrome . Normally, the arteries in the vascular system carry oxygen-rich blood at a relatively high pressure. Structurally, arteries divide and sub-divide repeatedly, eventually forming a sponge-like capillary bed . Blood moves through the capillaries, giving up oxygen and taking up waste products from the surrounding cells. Capillaries successively join together, one upon the other, to form the veins that carry blood away at a relatively low pressure. The heart acts to pump blood from the low pressure veins to the high pressure arteries. In the case of an AVM, there is an absence of capillaries in this "circuit." As a result, the vessels of an AVM have rather abnormal flow patterns that may be harmful, especially if a particular AVM has a high amount of blood flow or high pressures. This is a particularly serious problem in instances where AVMs involve parts of the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and their respective coverings, specifically the dura).
Causes of Arteriovenous Malformations
The common Causes of Arteriovenous Malformations :
Symptoms of Arteriovenous Malformations
Some common Symptoms of Arteriovenous Malformations :
Treatment of Arteriovenous Malformations
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