Home > Conditions > Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
An arteriovenous malformation—also known as an AVM—is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain, which can cause bleeding, seizures or stroke-like symptoms. A brain AVM disrupts the flow of blood from the heart to the brain. The cause of AVMs is unknown.
Arteriovenous malformation is a rare but serious condition. Though they may occur anywhere in the body, they are most common in the brain and spine. AVMs can cause bleeding in the brain, though a patient might have an AVM with no symptoms. Typical symptoms can include:
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Stiff neck
- Loss of consciousness
An AVM might also cause stroke-like symptoms such as paralysis, weakness, numbness, vision problems, balance or coordination problems and speech difficulties. Typically, a brain AVM is diagnosed using a CT scan, MRI or angiogram.