Approach to Pulmonary Arteriovenous Malformations: A Comprehensive Update

Shamaita Majumdar, Justin P McWilliams
Journal of Clinical Medicine 2020 June 19, 9 (6)
Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) are abnormal direct vascular communications between pulmonary arteries and veins which create high-flow right-to-left shunts. They are most frequently congenital, usually in the setting of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). PAVMs may be asymptomatic or present with a wide variety of clinical manifestations such as dyspnea, hypoxemia, or chest pain. Even when asymptomatic, presence of PAVMs increases patients' risk of serious, potentially preventable complications including stroke or brain abscess. Transcatheter embolotherapy is considered the gold standard for treatment of PAVMs. Though previous guidelines have been published regarding the management of PAVMs, several aspects of PAVM screening and management remain debated among the experts, suggesting the need for thorough reexamination of the current literature. The authors of this review present an updated approach to the diagnostic workup and management of PAVMs, with an emphasis on areas of controversy, based on the latest literature and our institutional experience.

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