The medical abbreviation "AVM" typically stands for "arteriovenous malformation." An arteriovenous malformation is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels that connects arteries directly to veins, bypassing the capillary system. This can disrupt normal blood flow and oxygenation in the affected area. AVMs can occur in various parts of the body, but they are most commonly found in the brain or spinal cord. They can cause symptoms such as headaches, seizures, weakness, or neurological deficits, depending on their size and location. Treatment options for AVMs may include surgical removal, embolization (blocking the blood vessels), or radiation therapy, depending on the specific circumstances.
The exact cause of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is not fully understood. AVMs are believed to develop during fetal development, possibly due to errors in the formation of blood vessels. However, the specific factors that contribute to the development of an AVM are not well defined.
While the exact cause remains unclear, some potential risk factors and associations have been identified:
Genetic Factors: There is evidence to suggest that certain genetic conditions or mutations may predispose individuals to developing AVMs. These genetic factors are believed to play a role in the abnormal development of blood vessels.
Hereditary Conditions: AVMs can be associated with certain inherited disorders, such as Osler-Weber-Rendu disease (hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia). In these cases, the presence of AVMs is often part of a broader syndrome involving abnormalities in blood vessels.
Random Occurrence: In many cases, AVMs appear to develop randomly without any known genetic or hereditary factors.