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Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), brain tumour treatment

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Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)

Gamma Knife surgery is an increasingly important treatment alternative for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). So far more than 60,000 AVM therapies have been carried out using Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

Scan of an AVM pre-gamma knife surgery

What is an AVM?

An AVM is a collection of abnormal blood vessels between the arteries and veins. In most patients it is congenital.

What are the symptoms of an AVM?

More than 60% of AVMs present with a haemorrhage (internal bleed) which can cause anything from a moderate to severe headache as well as neurological problems, such as epilepsy. 

How are AVMs diagnosed?

Normally an MRI will be performed and then detailed evaluation is by performing an angiography.

Scan showing area where AVM existed 24 months post-Gamma Knife surgery
Scan showing where AVM was post-Gamma Knife surgery

What is the treatment for an AVM?

Cerebral AVMs are mainly treated using microsurgery, however if the AVM is small, Gamma Knife treatment can be effective. AVMs can also be treated in the short-term by embolisation (using a catheter) following which surgery or Gamma Knife surgery would be required.

Further information on AVMs

Please contact the Gamma Knife Centre directly or go to AVM Support UK.

For health professionals

If you would like more information on the clinical applications of Gamma Knife treatment for AVMs, please see Professor Lippitz's website.

  • NHS patients wishing to have Gamma Knife surgery must be referred by their NHS consultant or GP to one of our Gamma Knife specialists
  • Insured and Embassy patients can be referred by their GP, consultant or Embassy as appropriate to one of our Gamma Knife specialists
  • Self-pay patients can self refer to one of our Gamma Knife specialists or be referred by their GP or consultant.
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