Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations are congenital vascular malformations in the lungs, which act as shunts so that the blood is not oxygenated or filtered. These patients are typically hypoxaemic with exercise intolerance and are at high risk of paradoxical emboli to the brain. About 25% of patients with the Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome (hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia) have these pulmonary malformations. A modern treatment strategy is embolisation with balloon or coils of the afferent arteries to the arteriovenous malformations. It is a minimally invasive procedure with a very high technical success and few complications. Embolisation prevents cerebral stroke and abscess and pulmonary haemorrhage and further raises the functional level. Screening for pulmonary arteriovenous malformations in patients at risk is recommended.
Ugeskrift for Laeger, 2001, Vol 163, Issue 33, p. 4398-401