Uterine arteriovenous malformations: a review of the current literature

Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2005 Nov;60(11):761-7. doi: 10.1097/01.ogx.0000183684.67656.ba.


Uterine arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition. AVMs often present with intractable bleeding and commonly are seen in association with pregnancy and uterine trauma. Ultrasound is the most common form of initial investigation, and computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are being used with greater frequency. Despite this, angiography remains the gold standard for diagnostic evaluation. Embolization has become a more acceptable form of treatment and allows more invasive forms of treatment, particularly hysterectomy, to be avoided. Numerous medical therapies have also been used in the management of patients with uterine AVM. Reports of successful pregnancies after diagnosis and treatment of a uterine AVM are still uncommon, but increasingly good outcomes are being reported after successful treatment of a confirmed uterine AVM.

Target audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians Learning Objectives: After completion of this article, the reader should be able to describe the many and varied clinical manifestations of a uterine arteriovenous malformation (AVM), summarize the best ways to manage an acute hemorrhage from an AVM, and identify the current best way to diagnose an AVM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / complications
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / epidemiology
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / therapy*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Incidence
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterus / blood supply*