Brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)

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What is a brain arteriovenous malformation?

A brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a tangle of arteries and veins in the brain that are not connected normally. This is a condition that is usually present at birth. In rare cases, AVMs are associated with conditions that run in families.

Though they are most common in the brain, AVMs can also occur in other parts of the body.

In brain AVMs, the circulation pattern of blood is abnormal. The blood bypasses the capillaries and travels directly from the arteries to the veins through a tangle of abnormally formed, small, irregular vessels. This direct connection prevents the blood from slowing down, losing pressure and releasing oxygen to the body.

This can cause several problems in the brain, including stroke, abnormal fluid balance, hydrocephalus or, in rare cases, heart failure.

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Care for brain arteriovenous malformations

The experts at Boston Children’s Hospital Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center treat brain arteriovenous malformations and other cerebrovascular conditions.

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