An arteriovenous angioma (AV angioma) and an arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula, often also arteriovenous malformation or AV malformation or dural fistula) are vascular malformations. Arteries and veins are connected in this case and enable the blood from the arteries to mingle with the blood from the veins. Given an AV angioma, the vessel is malformed due to its development or tumors. The AV fistula describes an abnormal, direct connection between arteries and veins. Arteriovenous angiomas or fistulas are often found in head, spine and other body parts. They can cause a range of different symptoms.
Angioma / fistula
Symptoms AV angioma / AV fistula
The symptoms caused by an arteriovenous angioma or an arteriovenous fistula can be very different. These vascular malformations can be responsible for comparatively harmless symptoms like headache, dizziness or tinnitus. But they can also lead to epileptic fits, brain bleeding or neurological symptoms like paralyzations, speech or language disorders, sensation disturbance (paresthesia, numbness) and impaired vision.
The symptoms of the AV angioma and fistula in short:
Causes AV angioma / AV fistula
The exact cause of an arteriovenous angioma or an arteriovenous fistula is not clear. But it is differentiated between hereditary or acquired shunts between arteries and veins. At the one hand genes may play a role because arteriovenous malformations seem to be frequent in certain families, but are not in others, and defects during the process of vascular development.
Diagnostics AV angioma / AV fistula
The diagnosis arteriovenous angioma or arteriovenous fistula necessitates a comprehensive neurological examination including imaging procedures like the non-invasive MRI or the invasive angiography. MRI enables us to evaluate the vascular condition very well, but it can be necessary to carry out angiography in some cases.
All examinations can be carried out at Beta Klinik. Read more about our diagnostics.
Therapy AV angioma / AV fistula
The treatment of an arteriovenous angioma or arteriovenous fistula is minimally invasive, endovascular surgery, meaning surgery within the corresponding vessel. A catheter is inserted through the femoral artery, through which the degenerated vessels are glued (embolized) and, thus, closed. In some cases, it can be necessary to treat an AV angioma or an AV fistula by microsurgery. The arteriovenous malformations are then removed and the damaged vessels closed. Since it is important to stop a vascular malformation to reduce the risk of bleedings, sometimes it is also indicated to combine endovascular surgery and microsurgery. Only in case of inoperable arteriovenous angioma or fistula, radiation therapy does make sense, during which the damaged vessels are irradiated at the center of their malformation.
Read more about the minimally invasive, endovascular treatment of an AV angioma or AV fistula