What is a malformation of the vessel?
There are different kinds of vessel malformations that can occur within the brain and spinal cord. Most common are arteriovenus malformations (AVM) and arteriovenus fistulas (AVF). In both cases, the vessels are under considerable stress due to a „shortcut“ being present between veins and arteries, which can lead to a tear in the vessel wall and, subsequently, a bleed in the brain.
Do all vessel malformations have to be treated?
If the malformation has already led to a bleed, it should be treated immediately to avoid additoinal bleeds.
Often, AVM are often found as incidental findings or when patients are seeking medical assistance due to other symptoms (headaches, epileptic seizures). AVFs, however, are often accompanied by a ringing in the ear synchronous with the patient‘s pulse.
If a treatment of the malformation is necessary, depends on many factors and will have to be discussed in detail with each patient.
What therapies are available?
Has a treatment been indicated, the selection of which one is the most appropriate is dependent on multiple factors. In generell, we differentiate between a treatment through open neurosurgery, endovascular catheter approach, or a combination of both. Which one is the most appropriate is highly dependent on the individual patient and is always discussed in an interdisciplinary team with other areas of neurology. The endovascular therapy includes an artificial closure (embolization) of the pathological shortcut.
If you have been diagnosed with a vessel malformation, you can come to our clinic for consultation.