- A huge number of capillaries distribute the blood to the tissues.
- Veins carry blood with less oxygen at low pressure back to the heart.
- Capillaries connect high pressure arteries to low pressure veins.
- At birth, the skin on top of the AVM may be pink or red. Over time, the skin will look dark red or purple.
- An AVM can affect a small area, such as a lip, or it may take up an entire arm or leg.
- The skin over the malformation usually feels warmer than other skin.
- A pulse from the heartbeat may be felt under the affected area.
- Swelling and pain
- Crusting and bleeding on skin
- Severe bleeding (hemorrhage)
- Headaches and other neurological symptoms if the AVM is in the head
- Heart failure may develop due to the large amount of blood that flows through the AVM
- Embolization. Embolization can be used to treat the AVM, or to prepare it for surgery. A tiny catheter inserted into the patient’s artery is used to inject material into the abnormal blood vessels to close them.
- Sclerotherapy. A chemical is injected into a blood vessel. This will damage the inside of the vessel so blood cannot flow through it. The vessel will then collapse and form scar tissue.
- Surgery. Surgery will remove as much of the AVM as possible. Several surgeries may be needed to remove the entire AVM.
Are there other problems that are linked to AVMs?
Some AVMs may be linked to a group of problems called a syndrome. Your doctor will ask you questions about the family health history. Some of the syndromes linked to AVMs are Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, Capillary Malformation-AVM, Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, Cowden syndrome and Parkes-Weber syndrome.
Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any concerns or if your child has:
An infection that will not heal
Bleeding that will not stop
Special health care needs not covered by this information
Read more about arteriovenous malformations (AVM) at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s web site.