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Arteriovenous Fistula (AVF)

What is an AVF?

Arteriovenous Fistulas can occur in multiple location in the brain and spine. They represent an abnormal connection of the arterial and venous systems and are seen in adults and children. Typical presentations include bleeding, visual problems, bleeding and hearing problems.

Arteriovenous Fistulas

How is an AVF diagnosed?

AVFs usually are suspected based on clinical presentation. Symptoms usually lead to imaging such as MRI or CT scans. These scans can often be negative in the setting of fistula and, if highly suspected, a cerebral angiogram should be obtained for diagnosis and treatment planning.

Carotid Cavernous Fistula

How are AVFs treated?

A number of factors are considered in the decision to treat AVFs and the therapy chosen. Catheter based techniques are often used as an initial approach and often require multiple sessions. Surgery is also used when necessary as untreated AVFs can lead to neurological decline.

At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, we are experts at diagnosing and treating adults and children with arteriovenous fistulas. Through our multidisciplinary center, we provide resources for comprehensive treatment, long-term follow-up and support for patients and families.

For more information, please contact us.

Page reviewed on: Sep 02, 2014

Page reviewed by: Robert J. Singer, MD

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