Welcome to the Patient Education Library of Florida Center for Neurology
Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)- Brain
The cells in your brain need oxygen to function and survive. Oxygen is carried to your brain by red blood cells. Your red blood cells travel to your brain in tubes called arteries. The internal carotid and the vertebral arteries carry blood to your brain.
The internal carotid and the vertebral arteries branch off to transport blood to areas throughout your brain. The branches of the internal carotid artery supply blood to the front and top areas of your brain. These branches include the anterior cerebral, anterior communicating, middle cerebral, and posterior communicating arteries.
The vertebral artery branches into the anterior spinal artery and supplies blood to your brain and spinal cord. The junction of your two vertebral arteries forms your basilar artery. Your basilar artery branches into the cerebellar and posterior cerebellar arteries that supply blood to the lower and back areas of your brain. The arterial branches form a circular formation in the center of your brain called the Circle of Willis.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is a type of external beam radiation therapy for AVM that adjusts for the size and shape of the AVM throughout treatment. IGRT uses advanced imaging technology to visualize the AVM before each treatment. Based on the daily images, the radiation is configured before each treatment. In turn, the radiation is more precise, effective, and results in fewer side effects. Its versatility helps to spare as much healthy tissue as possible, while delivering a precise high-dose radiation treatment.
Am I at RiskAVM in the brain is a rare condition that occurs in less than 1% of all people. You may have a greater risk for AVM if you have Von Hippel-Lendau Disease or hereditary hemorrhagic telangiesctasia. Some people with a cerebral AVM also have a cerebral aneurysm. Pregnancy increases the risk of AVM rupture because of increased blood volume and blood pressure. AVMs that have bled once have a high risk of bleeding again within a year from the first incident.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.