What is an arteriovenous malformation or AVM?
An arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, is an abnormal tangle of vessels in the brain or spine. The cause of AVMs is not clear. Most people are born with them, but they can occasionally form later in life. They are rarely passed down among families genetically.
What are the symptoms of AVM?
Some people with brain AVMs experience signs and symptoms, such as headaches or seizures or bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage).
How is an AVM diagnosed?
An AVM is usually diagnosed using by an MRI, CT scan, or Cerebral angiography. Cerebral angiography is the most detailed test to diagnose an AVM. The test reveals the location and characteristics of the feeding arteries and draining veins, which is critical to planning treatment. Once diagnosed, a brain AVM can often be treated successfully to prevent complications, such as brain damage or stroke.
How is an AVM treated?
Treatment of AVMs is either done through Microsurgical resection, Endovascular embolization, or Stereotactic radiotherapy/radiosurgery. In cases where surgery and embolization are not an option due to the sensitivity of the location of the AVM, stereotactic radio surgery is recommended.
Using the Brainlab Elements treatment planning software along with Novalis Tx with frameless based radiosurgery, this cutting-edge noninvasive technique delivers a concentrated dose of radiotherapy to the core of the AVM in one session, leading the vessels of the AVM to clot off and shut down with time.
Benefits of stereotactic radio surgery is that it is a minimally invasive technique that can produce excellent results with minimal risk to the patient.