Five patients with arteriovenous malformations of the face (4 males and 1 woman; age range, 11-38 years) were treated by selective embolization through the feeding arteries with polyvinyl alcohol particles. Immediate gross angiographical obliteration was obtained in 4 patients, with pronounced reduction of the arteriovenous shunt in the fifth. Clinical symptoms including bleeding, swelling, pulsations, bruit, and disfigurement improved in all the patients followed up for a period of 6 to 21 months. Polyvinyl alcohol particle embolization, without surgical resection, though palliative could be useful in select patients. The classification and diagnosis of congenital vascular malformations is briefly reviewed and treatment discussed.