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Brain Arteriovenous Malformation Treatment

The Department of Neurosurgery at Rutgers Health and RWJBarnabas Health treats the full gamut of neurological conditions, including brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM). If you have been incidentally diagnosed with a brain AVM, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid the potentially deadly consequences of a brain bleed, which is the primary danger of having an AVM.

What Are Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM)?

AVM’s are a bunch of blood vessels formed incorrectly within the brain tissue. Instead of the single blood vessel there will be thousands of abnormal and fragile blood vessels at one location. These fragile vessels tend to rupture and cause a massive intracranial bleeding and stroke. They can also irritate the surrounding normal brain tissue to generate seizures or epilepsy.

What are the symptoms of Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM)?

These are usually asymptomatic and are detected sometimes incidentally. Most of these patients come to hospital following a stroke due to sudden rupture. They can present with a mild headache, seizures, weakness and loss of consciousness.

How Are Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) Diagnosed?

Upon admission to the hospital, your doctor will evaluate your physical symptoms and rule out any other conditions that can mimic an intracranial hemorrhage. You may need several tests for a concrete diagnosis and treatment plan. CT scan will be done initially to identify suspected bleeding. If CT scan reveals a hemorrhage with a suspected AVM, MRI and an angiogram will be performed.

Treatment of Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM):

AVM ‘s will be graded based on the location, size and the type of blood drainage. This will help us decide regarding the management. AVM in an accessible location, small size and favorable blood vessel morphology will be surgically excised. Larger AVM’s with an unfavorable morphology and inaccessible location will be managed by endovascular embolization and stereotactic radiosurgery. In embolization, the blood vessels to the AVM is blocked by injecting particles or onyx or glue into the feeding vessel through a catheter passed by making a small puncture in the thigh or forearm. stereotactic radiosurgery is another option, where the AVM is made to slowly shrink by giving gamma rays.

Request an appointment online now or call 833-656-3876.