What causes an arteriovenous malformation?

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More commonly known as an AVM, an arteriovenous malformation is an abnormal confluence of arteries and veins in the brain. In a brain AVM, blood flows directly from your arteries to your veins, bypassing capillaries. The arteries and veins in an AVM can rupture, causing bleeding into the brain.

An AVM rupture occurs from pressure and damage to blood vessel tissue. However, the cause of cerebral AVMs is unknown.

The condition is present at birth, but symptoms may occur at any age.