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J Vasc Surg. 2015 Dec;62(6):1667-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2015.08.052.

Evaluation and management of congenital peripheral arteriovenous malformations.

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Vascular Anomalies & Malformations Program (VAMP) at the Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ. Electronic address:
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ.


The International Society for Study of Vascular Anomalies (ISSVA) broadly categorizes vascular anomalies into vascular tumors and vascular malformations. Vascular malformations are further divided based on their flow properties into slow-flow venous and lymphatic malformations, high-flow arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and congenital mixed syndromes, which can include combinations thereof. Whether occurring in isolation or as part of a broader syndrome, congenital high-flow AVMs are arguably the most complicated, challenging, and gratifying of all vascular malformations to diagnose and manage. Various configurations exist depending on location and coexisting clinical features. Transcatheter embolization has evolved into the mainstay of treatment for most congenital peripheral AVMs with surgical excision playing a growingly limited role as an adjunctive modality. Successful treatment requires technical precision, creativity, patience, and persistence given the ever-evolving angioarchitecture and hemodynamic profile of these lesions. Despite these challenges, certain fundamental principles have been established as our understanding of the pathogenesis, natural history, hemodynamics, and treatment outcomes has expanded and evolved over the last few decades. These principles are crucial to adhere to in the overall management of these lesions and are highlighted and expanded upon herein.

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