Vascular Malformations of the Brain
Virtually all AVMs can be detected on MRI images but an arteriogram is the standard test for AVM. After feeding contrast dye into an artery leading to the brain, the radiologist will take a series of head x-rays. The structure of the AVM and the flow of blood through its arteries and veins show up clearly in the resulting images. Sedation or anesthesia may be necessary if a child is young and cannot tolerate the discomfort of having the procedure done with local anesthesia. CT angiography (CTA) and MR angiography (MRA) are additional imaging procedures that can be used to define the three dimensional qualities of the malformation, and may be requested by a neurosurgeon to aid in planning treatment.