Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)

An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) occurs when a blood vessels in the brain form a tangled mass that diverts normal blood flow from the capillary system within the brain. The interventional neuroradiologists of Houston Radiology Associated diagnose and treat several kinds of neurovascular diseases and conditions, including AVMs.

 

Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) Causes

The causes of Ateriovenous Malformations (AVMs) are still unknown, but much research points to AVMs being formed during fetal development.

AVM Symptoms

​Often Arteriovenous Malformations are asymptomatic or exhibit few symptoms and aren’t detected until later in life when complications or ruptures occur. The rupture AVM causes hemorrhage and bleeding of the brain that is more than half of cases the first sign of an AVM. Many times AVMs are detected during medical tests for other symptoms and causes and discovered. Other symptoms in patients who don’t experience hemorrhage may include:
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Weakness, Numbness, and/or Tingling on one side of the body
Other more serious neurological symptoms may include:
  • Severe headache
  • Weakness, numbness, tingling or paralysis
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty in speaking Confusion, disorientation, or inability to understand
  • Inability to maintain balance
  Symptoms can start to manifest themselves in childhood, but typically build up over time and are commonly exhibited by early adulthood. AVMs generally stabilize in middle age and present less of a risk if they have not displayed symptoms so far. We’ve also compiled a list of informational materials for AVMs on our Resources page.

Diagnosing AVMs

To diagnose a brain AVM, our doctors will review your symptoms and conduct a physical examination. The doctors may require one or more additional tests to diagnose the condition. Our doctors can also conduct imaging tests to locate AVMs once they have been diagnosed.

AVM Treatment

Endovascular embolization. In this procedure, your doctor inserts a long, thin tube (catheter) into a leg artery and threads it through blood vessels to your brain using X-ray imaging.

The catheter is positioned in one of the feeding arteries to the AVM, and injects an embolizing agent, such as small particles, a glue-like substance, micro-coils or other materials, to block the artery and reduce blood flow into the AVM.

Endovascular embolization is less invasive than traditional surgery. It may be performed alone, but is frequently used prior to other surgical treatments to make the procedure safer by reducing the size of the AVM or the likelihood of bleeding.

In some large brain AVMs, endovascular embolization may be used to reduce stroke-like symptoms by redirecting blood back to normal brain tissue.

To learn more about the innovation used to treat brain aneurysms visit our​ Specialties and Services page.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Doctor Diaz and Doctor Klucznik treat all of their patients with minimally invasive endovascular procedures. Endovascular repair has a lower risk of complications compared to open surgery. Your doctor is more likely to suggest this type of repair if you have other serious medical problems or are elderly.

Following treatment for an AVM, your doctor will provide you with a recovery program to help you regain strength and recover normal function. The road to recovery may be longer if a stroke was suffered as a consequence of an untreated AVM.

When determining your revery and rehabilitation plan, our doctors will into consideration your lifestyle, interests and priorities, and the availability of family members or other caregivers.

Recovery after endovascular repair is quick in most cases and generally faster than more invasive procedures. After endovascular repair, you will still need to be monitored regularly to make sure your repaired aneurysm is not leaking.

Why Choose Us ?

Choose Houston Neurovascular Center for caring doctors and staff with unparalleled knowledge and experience in the field of Interventional Neuroradiology. Our neurointerventional surgeons are at the leading edge of treatment research and studies. We accept most major insurance carriers to make sure that the financial aspect of your care is as seamless as possible.

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