Clinical Specialties : Cerebrovascular Disorders

Arteriovenous Malformations

Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) are an abnormal collection of blood vessels; areas that lack tiny Capillaries. Normally, red oxygenated blood is pumped by the heart through branching tubes called arteries to the brain where it enters a fine network of tiny vessels called capillaries. It is in these capillary beds where the blood nourishes the tissues. Blue, deoxygenated blood then passes back to the heart back through veins. The location of the connection between the artery and the vein is called the shunt. An AVM is when the blood is pumped through the shunt and back to the heart without ever giving nutrients to the tissues.


  • Seizures
  • persistent headaches

University of Miami School of Medicine’s neurological surgeons have contributed extensively to international medical literature on cerebral and spinal arteriovenous malformations and fistulae. These surgeons share a strong collaboration with the medical school’s interventional neuroradiologists in the treatment of these complex lesions that frequently require both embolization and surgical excision.

Additionally, CyberKnife® treatment is available for small cerebral arteriovenous malformations that are located in areas of the brain where surgical removal would be too risky.