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Therapeutic approach to adult patients with pulmonary arteriovenous malformations

James R Gossage, MD
Section Editor
Jess Mandel, MD
Deputy Editor
Geraldine Finlay, MD


Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) are abnormal communications between pulmonary arteries and veins [1]. Alternative names include pulmonary arteriovenous fistulae, pulmonary arteriovenous aneurysms, cavernous angiomas of the lung, and pulmonary telangiectases [2].

PAVMS are associated with significant morbidity and mortality (eg, stroke, cerebral abscess, massive hemoptysis). However, not all patients with PAVMs require definitive therapy.

The approach to treating patients with PAVMS is discussed in this topic. The epidemiology, etiology, and pathology, as well as clinical features, and diagnostic evaluation of patients with suspected PAVMs are reviewed separately. (See "Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations: Epidemiology, etiology, and pathology in adults" and "Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations: Clinical features and diagnostic evaluation in adults".)


True estimates of morbidity and mortality as well as natural history data are unknown because these data are mostly reported in retrospective case series.

Morbidity and mortality associated with PAVMs are mostly associated with the development of serious complications including stroke and brain abscess, as well as hypoxemic respiratory failure and life-threatening hemoptysis or hemothorax.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 14, 2017.
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