ArterioVenous Malformation

What is AVM

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are defects in the vascular system, consisting of tangles of abnormal blood vessels (nidus) in which the feeding arteries are directly connected to a venous drainage network without interposition of a capillary bed. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the rest of the body’s tissues and cells. Veins return oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs and heart. Capillaries connect the arteries and veins. The presence of an AVM disrupts this vital cyclical process, causing a snarled tangle of arteries and veins that are connected to one another without the presence of any capillaries.

Symptoms and Rehabilitation

The proportion of patients diagnosed with unruptured AVMs has almost doubled in the past three decades with improved non-invasive imaging. About 12% of people with AVMs experience symptoms varying in severity. AVMs can irritate the surrounding brain tissue and cause seizures or headaches. Any of the following symptoms may occur: (www.aans.org)

  • Seizures, new onset
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulties carrying out organizational tasks
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Visual disturbances
  • Language problems
  • Abnormal sensations such as numbness, tingling or spontaneous pain
  • Memory deficits
  • Mental confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Dementia

Depending on the severity and symptoms, NErveaide modern rehabilitation devices can help AVM survivors regain their mobility and function such as walking, grasping etc.