Central nervous system vascular malformations


Rare problems with the blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord and their membrane covers are known as central nervous system vascular malformations.

Vascular malformations of the central nervous system come in a variety of forms, including:

  • Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs). AVM, short for Arteriovenous Malformations, are atypical clusters of blood vessels that create a direct connection between arteries and veins. These abnormal formations can emerge in various locations within the body, but are most commonly found in or close to the brain or spine. They present a significant risk of brain bleeds and other potential complications.
  • Capillary telangiectasias. These are wider-than-normal capillaries, which are tiny blood vessels.
  • Cavernous malformations. These are unusually developed blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord. They have a popcorn or mulberry appearance.
  • Dural arteriovenous fistulas. These are abnormal connections between arteries, a draining vein, and the thick dura that covers the brain or spinal cord.
  • Venous malformations. These are veins in the brain or spinal cord that are particularly large. Additionally, they are known as developmental venous anomalies.


The type and location of the central nervous system vascular malformations determine the symptoms. Some vascular malformations go unnoticed for years. They are located on diagnostic imaging which is supposed to be for another purpose.

Some central nervous system vascular malformations can cause symptoms such as headache, seizures, or bleeding.

Neurological impairments, which are issues with the nervous system and the brain that worsen with time. Speech, eyesight, balance, memory, and other functions can all be impacted by neurological impairments.


It is unknown what causes vascular malformations in the central nervous system. Some are congenital, meaning they exist from birth. Later, others arrive.

Vascular malformations are more likely to occur in people with certain hereditary disorders. Another potential cause is harm to the central nervous system.