What are they?
Normally, blood flows from the hearth through the arteries, which drain into capillaries and supply oxygen to the body. The blood then comes back to the heart in veins. In Arterio-Venous Malformations (AVMs), there are connections or shunt directly between arteries and veins without the intervening capillary network.
AVMs are usually detected at birth and are often diagnosed using imaging techniques such as ultrasound, CT, MRI, MRA, and angiography.
Because of their size and location, surgical resection is often very difficult and can be quite extensive. Angiography and embolization with particulate and liquid embolic agents can be effective alone or in conjunction with surgery.