We use cookies to so our web site can function correctly. By Clicking "OK" or by clicking into any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more visit the cookies section of our privacy policy.

Privacy Statement

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

Cookie group mandatory

(Req)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are required

Functional

These cookies allow us to adtertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Marketing

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.  All information collect is annonomas unless you provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)

AVMs can occur anywhere in the body

An abnormal connection or passageway between an artery and vein where the blood bypasses your capillaries

What is AVM?

An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a term used to describe a complex tangle of blood vessels in your brain, where there are abnormal connections between your arteries and veins. They are almost always present at birth and arise either during very early pregnancy or as part of an inherited condition. It is believed they often occur because of a problem in blood vessel formation in the foetus during pregnancy.

An AVM can interfere with normal blood circulation, and dependent on their location can cause severe problems if they bleed. In these cases it is likely surgery will be required to remove them.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of arteriovenous malformation? icon plus

    AVM’s are often visible if they occur near the skin, as the skin will become discoloured. They will likely cause swelling and you will see blood vessels very close to the surface of the skin. 

    Other AVM symptoms may include:

    • Balance problems
    • Bleeding
    • Blurred vision or loss of vision
    • Confusion
    • Heart problems
    • Headache
    • Numbness and or weakness on one side of the body
    • Speech problems such as muddled words or slurred speech
    • Ulcer

    It’s important to note that AVMs do not shrink over time, and so if you experience symptoms you should contact your GP or consultant as soon as possible.

     
  • How is AVM diagnosed? icon plus

    In order to diagnose arteriovenous malformations, a consultant will carry out a physical examination to assess if there are any visible abnormalities present. They may also carry out the following tests to confirm a diagnosis:

  • Treatment options for AVM icon plus

    They most suitable type of treatment for AVM will depend on its size, location and how restricted the blood flow is in this area, as well as if other health factors are involved. The most likely options and the reasoning for each are as follows:

    • Embolisation. This aims to block the artery supplying the arteriovenous malformation to reduce blood flow. This may be done prior to surgery with the aim of reducing bleeding during the operation or sometimes as a curative treatment in itself.
    • Gamma Knife. A type of radiation treatment, which has become the treatment of choice for many patients with arteriovenous malformations.
    • Surgery. This is to remove the arteriovenous malformation from your healthy surrounding brain tissue.
Consultant with patient

Our AVM specialists

AVM is a condition affecting the vascular system, and the consultant you will need to consult will be related to the area the AVM is located.

Your GP or primary physician will be able to advise you of the type of consultant you will be referred to.

Our locations

From complex vascular condiitions to diagnostic tests andprocedures, we provide exceptional multidisciplinary care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top