Dr. Mericle and Dr. Ulm have extensive experience treating brain vascular malformations. They are experts at all facets of treatment including: cerebral angiography, embolization, surgical resection and radiosurgery.

About AVM

Brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain which can cause bleeding, seizures, or stroke-like symptoms (weakness, numbness, tingling). The cause of AVM formation is unknown.

Symptoms

Brain AVMs can bleed in the brain in which case patients may have a severe headache, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, stiff neck, or loss of consciousness. They can also cause seizures. They may also cause stroke-like symptoms such as paralysis, weakness, numbness, vision problems, balance or coordination problems, or speech difficulties.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of a brain AVM is made by CT scan, MRI, and catheter cerebral angiogram.

Treatment

The treatment of a brain AVM is either by surgery (opening the skull and surgically removing the AVM from the brain ), embolization (injecting substances into the AVM to block off the abnormal vessels via tiny plastic tubes inserted in the patient’s leg artery and navigated to the brain by x-ray guidance), or radiosurgery (a one-time treatment of high-focused radiation to the brain AVM).

Brain AVMs are either treated after they have caused bleeding, or in some patients, an AVM is found before it has bled, and is treated to prevent it from bleeding.

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