Chapter: Arteriovenous malformations
Article: 7 of 13
Update: June 02, 2021
Author(s): Uller, Wibke
An untreated arteriovenous malformation often has a poor prognosis as a result of the slow but often continuous progression of the disease and the permanent increase in volume and pressure load on the arteries and veins involved. Inadequate, especially incomplete therapeutic attempts with partial embolization or partial resection can lead to an increase in symptoms in the long run. The appropriate time for treatment of the arteriovenous malformation depends on its Schobinger stage (therapy usually begins at Schobinger II to III).
In the treatment of an asymptomatic or stable, quiescent arteriovenous malformation, possible complications may outweigh the benefits of the treatment. Direct complications resulting from therapy (e.g., necroses, wounds that do not heal, wound infections, hematomas, immobilization damage, ischemia) can sometimes lead to long-term impairment.
Especially incomplete attempts at open resection of an arteriovenous malformation should be avoided. For this reason, the difficult therapeutic management of an arteriovenous malformation should be reserved for interdisciplinary specialized centers.