Does the size change?


I was eager to know if the size of the AVM is changed if kept untreated ?

I read one thread here which says it had changed in time.

Any other ideas ?


Hi Reza,
My AVM has been the same in size since birth and I am now thirty. But, I’ve been told by my neurological team that it is a possibility. Which is why it is important even if you can not be treated to keep up on evaluations. This is the advice I was given. Hope this is what you were looking for.
Take Care,

Reza, as all avm’s are congenital, meaning they are present at birth, I truly believe they do grow as our bodies and brains develop. That being said, avm’s are not maligant like a cancer, and therefore do not spread. Wether or not they can pick up additional ‘feeders’ I don’t know, but I think once we are physically mature, it is what it is. My particular avm is VERY large, so I am positive it has grown since it was diagnosed in 1987 at age 13. The size now is 10cmx7cmx3cm at age 36. Can you imagine something that size in the head of a 12 or 13 yr old?..COULDN’T HAPPEN. I believe my avm was actually larger before my recent embos, so I think our battle is just shrinking it until obliteration or surgically removing it with a crainiotomy. Hope that helps, just my nonprofessional opinion. -GK


I saw my neurosurgeon yesterday who talked about this very issue; he said that in the 400 cases he has operated on only 9 had changed in size over a period of time. I guess that that is only those that they know of or have maybe monitored though. Hope this helps.


The best and most important thing to do is to see a neurosurgeon who deals with AVMs to make sure that you are not risking yourself down the road from it rupturing. Granted many do not have any symptoms nor does not have any signs of it until it ruptures and you are having to deal with some major excruciating pain until treatment. AVMs grow usually as you age and with changes in your body - blood pressure and any other illnesses that come about, it could cause the AVM to rupture. I am an AVM survivor after going through radiosurgery - my book is on its way to being published soon. Please do not take this lightly…see a doctor soon.

Reza, I’d like to revise, my initial response and say yes they can get bigger if left untreated, even at full physical maturity. I agree with Jason Eppert’s reply and have experienced this firsthand. I think if ur avm is in a high functioning area of the brain, any increase in size can affect surrounding healthy brain tissue. My neurosurgeons’ concern 5 years ago was a chance for a ‘mass effect’ or ‘midline shift’ due to the shear mass of the avm pushing against healthy brain tissue. I too, like Jason, experienced left side motor weakness at 36 yrs old, however function was restored after my embos. So I retract the statement “it is what it is” after more thought! -GK