Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a vascular lesion in which arteries and veins are tangled and not connected by capillaries. They are often presumed to be congenital, and they are rarely detected in the perinatal period, and otherwise there is no direct evidence that they form in utero. The lack of capillaries allows blood traveling through the abnormal fistulous connections to flow rapidly. High flow in the fistulas can lower proximal arterial pressure and increase the pressure in the veins draining the AVM. AVM can occur in many different parts of the body, but those located in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord (neurological AVM) can affect the entire body.
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