You are reading a NORD Rare Disease Report Abstract. NORD’s full collection of reports on over 1200 rare diseases is available to subscribers (click here for details). We are now also offering full Rare Disease reports to visitors who register on our website, for free. If you have already registered or if you are a subscriber, clicking the link to view the full report will give you an opportunity to log in. You will also be able to register or to reset your password. Registration is free and we do not share your information with anyone else, but you are limited to two full reports a day.
NORD is very grateful to William L. Young, MD, Departments of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, Neurological Surgery, and Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Synonyms of Arteriovenous Malformation
- arteriovenous malformation of the brain
- arteriovenous malformation of the spine
Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a vascular lesion that is a tangle of vessels of varying sizes in which there is one or more direct connections between the arterial and venous circulations. In the lesion there is no capillary bed, which is part of normal tissue. Brain AVMs are often presumed to be congenital, but there is no direct evidence that they form in utero. The distribution of age at detection for brain AVMs is normally-distributed with the mean age in the mid-30’s. Although a small number of AVMs manifest themselves at or shortly after birth, most of them present later in life, and just as likely, form and progress during the later years of life. The lack of capillaries allows blood traveling through the abnormal fistulous connections to flow rapidly. The low resistance of the direct A-V connections, termed fistulas, results in very high flow rates in the vessels leading to and within the AVM. These high flow rates can lower the pressure in the arteries leading to the AVM and to surrounding relatively normal brain tissue. Further, because of the direct A-V connections, the pressure in the arteries, even if somewhat reduced, are transmitted to the veins draining the AVM and surrounding brain, which normally operate at very low pressures. AVM can occur in many different parts of the body, but those located in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) can cause problems that affect the brain like other forms of stroke.
Organizations related to Arteriovenous Malformation
The information in NORD’s Rare Disease Database is for educational purposes only. It should never be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. NORD’s reports provide a brief overview of rare diseases. For more specific information, we encourage you to contact your personal physician or the agencies listed as “Resources” on this report.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) web site, its databases, and the contents thereof are copyrighted by NORD. No part of the NORD web site, databases, or the contents may be copied in any way, including but not limited to the following: electronically downloading, storing in a retrieval system, or redistributing for any commercial purposes without the express written permission of NORD. Permission is hereby granted to print one hard copy of the information on an individual disease for your personal use, provided that such content is in no way modified, and the credit for the source (NORD) and NORD’s copyright notice are included on the printed copy. Any other electronic reproduction or other printed versions is strictly prohibited.
Copyright 1986, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013
NORD's Rare Disease Information Database is copyrighted and may not be published without the written consent of NORD.