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Arteriovenous Malformations

  • Posted on- Dec 15, 2017
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What are Arteriovenous Malformations?

Veins carry deoxygenated blood towards the heart and the arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the brain. Arteriovenous Malformations interrupt this process. Arteriovenous Malfunctions may occur in the spinal cord, brain or the brain stream. The only main cause of Arteriovenous Malfunctions is a genetic disorder passed on by parents.

Normally, arteries carry blood containing oxygen from the heart to the brain, and veins carry blood with less oxygen away from the brain and back to the heart. When an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) occurs, a tangle of blood vessels in the brain or on its surface bypasses normal brain tissue and directly diverts blood from the arteries to the veins.

An arteriovenous malformation can develop anywhere in your body but occurs most often in the brain or spine. Even so brain Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) is rare and affects less than 1 percent of the population.

Some people with brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) experience signs and symptoms, such as headache or seizures. Arteriovenous malformations (AVM) are commonly found after a brain scan for another health issue or after the blood vessels rupture and cause bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage).

Once diagnosed, a brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) can often be treated successfully to prevent complications, such as brain damage or stroke.


Symptoms

What is the cause of Arteriovenous Malformation?

The cause of brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is unknown, but researchers believe most brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) emerges during fetal development.

Normally, your heart sends oxygen-rich blood to your brain through arteries. The arteries slow blood flow by passing it through a series of progressively smaller networks of blood vessels, ending with the smallest blood vessels (capillaries). The capillaries slowly deliver oxygen through their thin, porous walls to the surrounding brain tissue.

The oxygen-depleted blood then passes into small blood vessels and then into larger veins that drain the blood from your brain, returning it to your heart and lungs to get more oxygen.

The arteries and veins in an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) lack this supporting network of smaller blood vessels and capillaries. Instead, the abnormal connection causes blood to flow quickly and directly from your arteries to your veins, bypassing the surrounding tissues.


Treatment

What is the cost for the treatment of Arteriovenous Malformation in India?

Which specialty of doctor is to be consulted for the treatment of Arteriovenous Malformation in India?

  • Vascular neurosurgeons specialize in surgically removing brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM).
  • Radiation therapists/neurosurgeons specialize in the stereotactic radiosurgery treatment of brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM).
  • Interventional neuroradiologists/endovascular neurosurgeons specialize in the endovascular therapy of brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM).
  • Stroke neurologists specialize in the medical management of brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM).

These specialties of doctor are to be consulted for the treatment of Arteriovenous Malformation in India.

Which hospital is to be preferred for the treatment of Arteriovenous Malformation in India?

Medanta - The Medicity hospital in India is to be preferred for the treatment of Arteriovenous Malformation in India.

FAQ's

1. What are the symptoms of Arteriovenous Malformation?

A brain arteriovenous malformation may not cause any signs or symptoms until the Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) ruptures, resulting in bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage). In about half of all brain Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM), hemorrhage is the first sign.

But some people with brain Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) may experience signs and symptoms other than bleeding related to the Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM).

In people without hemorrhage, signs and symptoms of a brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) may include:

Some people may experience more-serious neurological signs and symptoms, depending on the location of the Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), including:

  • Severe headache
  • Weakness, numbness or paralysis
  • Vision loss
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Confusion or inability to understand others
  • Severe unsteadiness

Symptoms may begin at any age but usually emerge between ages 10 and 40. Brain Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) can damage brain tissue over time. The effects slowly build up and often cause symptoms in early adulthood.

Once you reach middle age, however, brain Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) tends to remain stable and is less likely to cause symptoms.

Some pregnant women may have worsened symptoms due to changes in blood volume and blood pressure.

One severe type of brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), called a vein of Galen defect, causes signs and symptoms that emerge soon or immediately after birth. The major blood vessel involved in this type of brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) can cause fluid to build up in the brain and the head to swell. Signs and symptoms include swollen veins that are visible on the scalp, seizures, failure to thrive and congestive heart failure.

2. Who is at the risk for Arteriovenous Malformations?

  • There are certain genetic syndromes that can put you at increased risk of having Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM), such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia or Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome. There have been rare reports of Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) in several family members, though it's unclear if this is genetic or coincidental.
  • Being male - Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) are more common in males.

3. How are Arteriovenous Malformations diagnosed?

  • Most Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) are detected with either a computed tomography (CT) brain scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan. These tests are very good at detecting brain Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM). They also provide information about the location and size of the Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) and whether it may have bled. A doctor may also perform a cerebral angiogram. This test involves inserting a catheter (small tube) through an artery in the leg (groin). Then it's guided into each of the vessels in the neck going to the brain, and a contrast material (dye) is injected and pictures are taken of all the blood vessels in the brain. For any type of treatment involving an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), an angiogram may be needed to better identify the type of Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM).

4. When to see a doctor in case of Arteriovenous Malformation?

  • Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), such as seizures, headaches or other symptoms. A bleeding brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is life-threatening and requires emergency medical attention.

5. How are Arteriovenous Malformations treated?

  • There are a few potential treatment alternatives for Arteriovenous Malformation. The primary objectives of the treatment are to avoid hemorrhage, to control seizures or neurological difficulties. Your specialist will decide the most suitable treatment for your condition depending on your age, well-being, and the size of the malformation.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery

    Stereotactic radiosurgery uses radiation to breakdown the Arteriovenous malformation. A beam of radiation is directed towards the Arteriovenous malformation for a small duration.

  • Endovascular Embolization

    In Endovascular embolization, the specialist embeds a catheter (thin tube) into the patient's leg artery and strings it through the veins to the cerebrum using X-Ray imaging.

    The thin tube (catheter) is positioned in one of the artery to the Arteriovenous malformation and infuses an embolizing agent like a paste or micro coils to hinder the supply route (artery) and decrease blood stream into the Arteriovenous malformation. Endovascular embolization is less obtrusive than conventional surgery.

  • Surgical Removal

    The patient may need a conventional brain surgery to remove an Arteriovenous Malformation. Depending on the size of the Arteriovenous malformation the technique may vary. The Arteriovenous malformation is removed through making a window in the patient skull.

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