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Arteriovenous Malformation


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Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are bundles of tangled arteries and veins in the brain or spinal cord. AVMs are present from birth, though it is unclear what causes them.

Some AVMs may never cause any symptoms. Others may cause serious symptoms such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Headaches
  • Loss of speech
  • Memory loss
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Vision loss

If an AVM bleeds, it can put you at risk for severe neurological problems and even death.

Neurology experts at The University of Miami Health System diagnose and treat AVMs using the latest technology. We work to identify AVMs early to prevent serious complications.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI allows your physician to see the blood vessels in your brain and identify any AVMs. Your doctor may use a special dye to see your blood vessels even more clearly.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
Computed tomography is a type of X-ray that takes many images of your brain. With the use of special dye, CT scans allow your physician to see the blood vessels in your brain.


Embolization is an interventional procedure to block blood flow to the AVM. It uses a special type of glue. You may receive embolization to help reduce blood loss.

Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses precisely targeted beams of radiation to shrink the AVM. The radiation is weak throughout the beams, but strong where all the beams meet. Over time, the AVM shrinks until blood no longer flows through it.

A neurosurgeon can treat an AVM by removing the abnormal blood vessels and redirecting blood flow to healthy vessels. This treatment prevents an AVM from bleeding.

Why Choose UHealth?

A top-rated neurology team. We specialize in headaches, so you know you are getting neurologists with specific experience. When you meet with our specialists, they obtain an accurate diagnosis and develop a headache care plan that emphasizes prevention, risk reduction, safety, and return to well-being. Consultation and referral services are enriched with patient education and interdisciplinary referrals, when appropriate.

Specialized headache services. Did you know that 30 percent of people who are sent to specialized centers for difficult seizures find out they were misdiagnosed?  An inaccurate epilepsy diagnosis could mean years of costly and unnecessary medications. The expert physicians at our state-of-the-art International Comprehensive Epilepsy Center (ICEC) provide you with a comprehensive medical evaluation, so you get the right diagnosis and the right treatment the first time you are evaluated.

High case volume. Our neurologists are experienced and knowledgeable. The number of patients our department has cared for is impressive; as an example, there are about 2,500 patients with movement disorders, 2000 patients with multiple sclerosis, 1000 patients with cognitive impairment, 1500 with stroke and about 300 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Neurocritical care. Our physicians are internationally trained and staff two intensive care units: a 24-bed unit located at Jackson Memorial Hospital and an 8-bed unit at UHealth Tower.

Surgical expertise. We see more than 14,000 patients each year and perform more than 4,000 surgeries. Our experienced neurosurgeons are consistently pioneering new treatments. From minimally invasive spine surgeries to awake craniotomies, we offer unique surgeries you cannot find anywhere else in the region to treat your injuries and conditions.

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