Brain Arteriovenous Malformation

What is a brain arteriovenous malformation?

A brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a tangle of arteries and veins in the brain that disrupt the normal flow of blood. This is a condition that is usually present at birth. In rare cases, brain 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 blood travels directly from the arteries to the veins instead of moving through the capillaries first. This can cause several problems in the brain, including stroke, abnormal fluid balance, hydrocephalus or, in rare cases, heart failure.


How we care for brain arteriovenous malformations

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

Because we have the capability to provide the entire spectrum of cerebrovascular disease treatment options — surgery, radiation and embolization — we're able to provide the best care plan for each child, using noninvasive procedures and limiting radiation exposure whenever possible.

Meet Jack.

A concussion led to the discovery of an AVM. “My fourth concussion saved my life,” he says.


Meet jack and learn more about arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and his journey at Boston Children