How do arteriovenous malformations damage the brain and spinal cord?

Hemorrhage. Most of the damage of an arteriovenous malformation occurs when the blood vessel or vessels are spontaneously ruptured and bleed into the brain, causing pressure and damage to the brain. The same can occur with an av malformation in the brain stem or spine.
Multiple ways. The avm can compress nearby tissue and cause a stroke, or interfere with blood flow and also create tissue damage. If rupture occurs there can be a subarachnoid hemorrhage, with both local and more widespread problems. Brain avm's may cause seizures. Small avm's are unlikely to be an issue, but rarely, the ones in the spinal cord can cause paralysis.

Related Questions

Describe the features of a brain arteriovenous malformation.?

Often none. Unless it leaks, there would be no symptoms in most cases. Leaking can cause intense headache or stroke-like symptoms such as focal weakness, loss of speech or vision. Avm discovered after a minor stroke can be corrected before a major stroke. Family history of avm may prompt investigation in someone with no symptoms. Read more...
Congenital. An avm is a congenital malformation of brain and possibly spinal blood vessels. They predispose those that have them to neurologic symptoms and, potentially, bleeding. A thorough neurosurgical evaluation is essentially if an avm is suspected. Read more...
Localized deficits. A brain AVM is a connection of arteries directly to veins, without going through capilaries. When the flow increases it can produce a 'steal' effect by taking blood from surrounding tissue, resulting in an abnormality of brain fuction controled by the area of the 'steal'. another manifestation is a result of bleeding of the aVM. Read more...

I'm wondering how serious is brain arteriovenous malformation?

Location. All depend of the location, the clinical manifestations, the type of avm.... But in general are not big deal... Read more...
Bleed risk. The overall risks of bleeding are 3-4% yearly. Each bleed episode carries a 25% risk of mortality. Overall risk of dying is therefore 1% yearly. Read more...

How serious is a brain arteriovenous malformation? Does it depend on size or site?

Depends. It can be deadly serious or incidental - depending on the type and location. You should see a neurosurgeon to determine which one you have and what it needs for treatment. Read more...

What is the definition or description of: arteriovenous malformation repair - brain?

AVM repair-complex. Arteriovenous malformation (avm) of the brain is a complex "tangle" of arteries and veins. Treatment is complex and multispecialty. If the avm is small, one can consider radiosurgery (ie. Gamma knife), that leads to a high obliteration rate 2-3 years after treatment. If it is large, one would start with angiogram-embolization (blocking feeders with glue) followed by neurosurgery. Location is key. Read more...
Abnormal vasculature. These abnormal vessels have an increased risk of bleeding.They are treated by open surgery when they are excised, by embolizationby going through blood vessels or by a combination of both.Different methods depends on the size and or location in the brain. Read more...

Treatment for arteriovenous malformations (avm) of the brain; what options?

Depends . This depends on location and size. There are 3 general approaches: surgical excision, radiation therapy, and observation. The last is reserved for those that are too large, or the patient is medically unable to tolerate surgery. Surgery is the definitive treatment and is ideal for avms that are <5cm and in non-eloquent regions. Radiation (focused) is effective (after 2 years) for small, deep avms. Read more...

What is the treatment for for arteriovenous malformations (avm) of the brain?

Several types . Depending on the size, location, and particular anatomy of the avm, treatments could include: embolization, radiosurgery, open brain surgery, or a combination of these treatments. Read more...

I have a question about arteriovenous malformations; are they birth defects or hereditary?

Can be either. They can be either spontaneous or they can be inherited. Sometimes entire families are effected by certain vascular malformations. Read more...
Occuring fetal devel. Arteriovenous malformations are develomental abnormalities occuring during fetal development. There are hereditary disorders characterized by AV malformations, others are spontaneously. Read more...

Is the treatment for arteriovenous malformations (avm) ofthe brain through arteries now?

Not at all. There are four different ways to treat avms: 1) observation, 2) embolization, 3) radiosurgery, 4) microsurgery. Embolization with particles or glue is one tool that we have to treat avm. Smaller avms can be treated with microsurgery or radiosurgery, while larger avms can benefit from multiple types of treatment. The anatomical details are critically important to decide the best approach. Read more...
Maybe. Treat depends on size and location and includes artery and vein work as well as radiation. Read more...
No. Avms are best treated via a multispecialty approach depending on the size and location. When you speak about through the arteries-that is embolization, putting in a special type of glue to block the feeders. This is usually followed by surgery or focused radiation to obliterate the residual. If the avm is small, it may be treated directly with radiation or surgery. Read more...
Not "ALL" The treatment of avms is should involve mutliple specialists these days. Some of the more recent research suggests that treatment through the arteries is dangerous but it is important to realize that many of those treatments did not involve a team of doctors treating the patients. Make sure you involve an experienced team of mds in treatment recommendations regarding your avm. Read more...

How will arteriovenous malformations affect my health going forward?

More information. Arterio-venous malformations at the basic level is an abnormal connection to an artery and vein. They can occur anywhere in the body and can be something you are born with (congenital) or acquired, usually through penetrating trauma. They can cause problems with bleeding or shunting of blood or allowing bacteria or clots to pass through them. The symptoms relate to where they are located. Read more...