Most people with arteriovenous malformations don't experience any symptoms. For those that do have symptoms, the most common include:
Symptoms can vary widely, depending on the location of the AVM. Other symptoms are memory loss, muscle weakness, and visual distrubances, such as partial vision. Some researchers believe the condition can cause subtle learning or behavioral disorders, long before other symptoms emerge.
The most serious complication is bleeding in the brain, resulting in a stroke.
Damage from AVMs tend to build-up over time. In women, pregnancy can sometimes trigger symptoms due to increases in blood volume and blood pressure.
If no symptoms occur by the time people reach their late forties or early fifties, AVMs typically remain stable.
Because AVMs may not produce symptoms, they may be discovered during treatment for other disorders.
In children, AVMs are the leading cause of hemorrhagic stroke.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.