In arterio-venous malformation, as described at the beginning, the arterial and venous vascular system is affected. During embryonic development, short circuits (fistulas) develop between arteries and veins. This results in the formation of a network of tiny and small vessels through which varying amounts of blood flow. The blood flow can have effects on the circulation and overload the heart over time.
Arterio-venous malformations are often conspicuous by pain and swelling that pulsates or „buzzes“ when the hand is applied. Due to the involvement of arteries, bleeding that occurs can sometimes become life-threatening.
The treatment of arterio-venous malformations is often difficult. Here, too, interdisciplinary collaboration is essential. Interventional radiologists can perform embolizations. General anesthesia is necessary for this. Under X-ray guidance, a catheter is advanced to the AV malformation and an attempt is made to close the core („nidus“) of the malformation using coils or small particles. This procedure can also be done prior to surgery and improve the success of the operation.