Arterio-venous malformations are abnormal direct connections between the arterial and venous side of the circulation without passing through capillaries and the tissues first. They may be compact and dense or fairly scattered. The vessels surrounding them may appear dilated and if the lesion is near the surface of the skin it will appear pink in color. Unlike venous malformations there will be no distension with the head in a dependent position. A murmur called a thrill may be heard in larger compact lesions with a stethoscope.
The Center for Vascular Birthmarks offers comprehensive care for patients with arterio-venous malformations.
Learn more at the New York Head and Neck Institute.