Home MSU College of Human Medicine
MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine

VI. Vascular Malformations

There are four major categories of vascular anomalies: arteriovenous malformations (most common), cavernous angiomas, capillary telangiectasias, and venous angiomas. These lesions are found in about 5% of patients at autopsy. They are generally asymptomatic. Clinical manifestations occur most often in young people. In fact, a vascular malformation would be the most likely cause of intracerebral hemorrhage in a child. The arteriovenous malformation is most often clinically significant.

A. Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) (see image)

1. Characteristics

  • Tangles of abnormal vessels or channels of various sizes with thin walls; vessels are separated by gliotic neural parenchyma
  • Developmental (congenital) origin
  • Bleeding most common in 10-30 year age group
  • Most often located in cerebral hemispheres

2. Clinical Signs: seizures, headache, focal neurological signs.

An AVM is seen in this coronal section. Microscopically there would be abnormal vessels of various sizes.
Click here to enlarge