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Imaging for optimized detection of arteriovenous malformation:

While arteriovenous malformations may be detected on CT with contrast, and on MRI, angiography is the 'gold standard' imaging.

Imaging characteristics of arteriovenous malformation:
  • CT with contrast shows the 'bag of worms' - tangled vessels composed of feeding arteries, nidus and draining veins.
  • MRI shows low T2-signal intensity flow voids in fast flowing vessels, and may demonstrate areas of previous hemorrhage and related edema.
  • Formal cerebral angiography allows optimal visualization of feeding arteries, nidus and enlarged draining veins.
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