Vascular malformation is a general term that includes congenital vascular anomalies of only veins, only lymph vessels, both veins and lymph vessels, or both arteries and veins:
- Only veins: venous malformations (VM)
- Only lymph vessels: lymphatic malformations (LM)
- Both veins and lymph vessels: venolymphatic malformations (VLM)
- Arteries connected directly to veins without any capillaries in between: arteriovenous malformations (AVM)
Why do these vascular malformations occur?
These are all present at birth and become apparent at different ages. We are just beginning to understand how malformations occur. The pulmonary arteriovenous malformation, when associated with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), is inherited genetically. There is currently much work being done on the possible genetics of other malformations. Most are only known as something that occurs during development of the arteries, veins, and/or lymph vessels, but without specific cause.
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