Treatment for Arteriovenous Malformations
An arteriovenous malformation that has ruptured is a medical emergency.
The goal of treatment is to prevent further complications by controlling bleeding and seizures, hopefully by removing the arteriovenous malformation altogether. Treatments for arteriovenous malformation include:
- Open brain surgery – removes the malformation through an opening made in the skull.
- Embolization – injecting a glue-like substance into the abnormal vessels to stop blood flow in the arteriovenous malformation, and reduce the risk of bleeding. This is often the first form of treatment for certain arteriovenous malformations.
- Radiosurgery – stereotactic radiosurgery deliver radiation directly to the area of the arteriovenous malformation, causing it to scar and shrink.
Anti-convulsant medications are usually prescribed if seizures occur.
Diagnosis and Prognosis
A complete physical examination and neurologic examination is needed, but may be completely normal.
Dr. Moza, a Ventura County neurosurgeon, may recommend the following tests to diagnose an arteriovenous malformation::
- Cerebral angiogram
- Cranial MRI
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA0)
Death can occur if hemorrhaging is the first symptom of arteriovenous malformations. Roughly 10% of cases result in death if hemorrhaging is the first symptom. Persistent neurological problems and permanent seizures can be effects of arteriovenous malformations.