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ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATION

OVERVIEW

Arteriovenous malformations are abnormal blood vessels that shunt blood directly from the arterial to the venous circulation. There is a risk of intracranial hemorrhage, estimated at 2-4% per year, which can be limited or catastrophic. Management is therefore directed at reducing mortality and morbidity (neurological and cognitive impairment) from hemorrhage.

Clinical context

Patients with arteriovenous malformation may present with hemorrhage, seizures, headache and/or progressive neurological / cognitive impairments. In infants, head size may be large, scalp veins may be prominent and there may be co-existing high output cardiac failure.

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