Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
Cerebral AVM is a malformation of brain blood vessels that is usually congenital,
i.e., has been present in the person from birth. For unknown reasons,
AVMs often cause no symptoms early in life. When they do cause symptoms,
bleeding, seizures or headaches may be seen. The peak age for such symptoms
is between (30-45) years.
Bleeding from AVM often causes bleeding within the brain tissue rather
than SAH (see above). Such bleeding, although usually less dangerous than
that from aneurysm, may still be associated with significant neurological injury.
Cerebral AVM has several distinct subtypes, which should be discussed with
your neurosurgeon. These subtypes have different profiles for hemorrhage
risk and also treatment modalities that may be used.
The subtypes most often treated surgically are tangled clusters of blood
vessels that contain no normal brain tissue. Because of this, they may
be resected without damaging surrounding normal brain tissue.
The primary goal of surgical treatment is to prevent hemorrhage, although
seizure control may also sometimes be achieved through microsurgical resection.
Although microsurgery is the definitive treatment for many AVMs, microcatheter-based
techniques and precision radiation modalities may also be used.