Dural Arteriovenous Malformations

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Affiliated: Cerebrovascular Program

About Dural Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs)

General Information

  • Dural arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are vascular abnormalities of the dura mater, the thick leather-like covering of the brain.
  • These AVMs, with direct connections between the arterial and venous system without intervening capillaries, usually are found adjacent to the venous channels found between layers of the dura mater, but can be found elsewhere.


  • Common symptoms include ringing in the ear, headache, visual impairment, and swelling of the optic nerve head.
  • Some dural AVMs involve bleeding. Dural AVMs are more likely to bleed if a portion of their drainage goes through vessels on the surface of the brain.


  • Endovascular embolization, a minimally invasive procedure designed to close off blood flow to the AVM, is the treatment of choice.
  • Some AVMs with a high risk of bleeding or those that are difficult to access via angiography catheters may require surgical removal.
  • Some dural AVMs lacking symptoms or anatomical predisposition to hemorrhage can be tracked without treatment.
  • The optimal treatment plan for each patient involves careful review of medical history, physical exam and diagnostic studies.

The Neuro-ICU cares for patients with all types of neurosurgical and neurological injuries, including stroke, brain hemorrhage, trauma and tumors. We work in close cooperation with your surgeon or medical doctor with whom you have had initial contact. Together with the surgeon or medical doctor, the Neuro-ICU attending physician and team members direct your family member's care while in the ICU. The Neuro-ICU team consists of the bedside nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians in specialty training (Fellows) and attending physicians. UCLA Neuro ICU Family Guide