Pancreatic arteriovenous malformation

J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Jul;17(7):1240-6. doi: 10.1007/s11605-013-2217-2. Epub 2013 May 2.


Background: Pancreatic arteriovenous malformation is very rare, but may cause significant clinical symptoms such as catastrophic bleeding. Herein, we discuss the clinical presentation and management of patients pancreatic arteriovenous malformations.

Methods: The data pool for the analysis was collected from pancreatic arteriovenous malformation cases encountered by our institution and sporadic case reports in the English literature.

Results: A total of 89 cases of pancreatic arteriovenous malformation were collected for this study, including 59 cases of arteriovenous malformation in the pancreatic head (62.3 %) and 30 in the pancreatic body-tail (33.7 %). The most commonly associated complications for overall cases of pancreatic arteriovenous malformation were bleeding (50.6 %), pancreatitis (16.9 %), portal hypertension (6.7 %), and pseudocyst (3.4 %). The most common presenting symptom of pancreatic arteriovenous malformation was gastrointestinal bleeding (47.2 %), followed by epigastric pain (46.1 %). Surgery (43.8 %) was the most common treatment for pancreatic arteriovenous malformation cases, followed by transarterial embolization (11.2 %), a combination of surgery and transarterial embolization (10.1 %), and radiotherapy (2.2 %). No intervention was done for 29.2 % of the cases of pancreatic arteriovenous malformation.

Conclusions: Pancreatic arteriovenous malformation occurs most commonly in the pancreatic head; gastrointestinal bleeding is the main symptom. Surgical resection or transarterial embolization appears to be indicated in patients with symptomatic pancreatic arteriovenous malformation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Malformations* / diagnosis
  • Arteriovenous Malformations* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / blood supply*