Symptoms of AV fistula
Since an AV fistula can basically occur in any part of the body, there are also a variety of possible symptoms that can indicate it. In general, the AV fistula can cause pain or a feeling of pressure. Specific symptoms can be seen in the brain, for example, in the case of an AV fistula.
Some patients experience a flow-related ringing in the ears. If the AV fistula is located in a region of the brain behind the eye, the eyeball may pulsate and protrude (exophthalmos). It is also possible that the AV fistula puts pressure on a cranial nerve, which can lead to various failures. Examples of this are visual disturbances such as double vision or even paralysis of eye movement.
Localization of various AV fistulas
The AV fistula in the groin is a pathological short circuit between the inguinal artery and vein. In rare cases the disorder is congenital. More often it is the result of an injury to the blood vessels, for example during a cardiac catheter examination via the groin.
There may be swelling and pain in the groin. Since the blood vessels are large, another possible consequence of an AV fistula in the groin is a significant increase in the load on the heart. This is because the blood only has to overcome resistance through the fistula and flows directly back to the heart.
This topic may also be of interest to you: Pain in the groin- These are the most common causesAV fistula in the brain is usually a so-called carotid sinus cavernosus fistula. This is an acquired pathological connection between the carotid artery (carotid) and the blood-carrying vessel sinus cavernosus in the skull. A distinction is made between two forms.
The direct fistulas are the result of an injury with a fracture of the base of the skull or due to a tear in a vascular sacculation of the artery (cerebral aneurysm). In this form there is a high blood flow between the vessels. An indirect fistula, on the other hand, usually develops spontaneously as a result of vascular disease or sinusitis.
These are rather small connections of branches of the artery with the sinus, through which only small amounts of blood flow. Direct AV fistulas with high blood flow and flow reversal into the sinus system are therefore particularly relevant. The result can be reduced blood flow to the brain vessels, which can lead to symptoms such as impaired vision, dizziness or loss of consciousness.
An AV fistula in the spinal cord is a rather rare disease, but if undetected and untreated it can lead to paraplegia in the worst case. It is usually caused by an acquired faulty connection between a small artery of the hard spinal cord skin and a vein in the spinal cord. The resulting increased pressure in the venous system can lead to slowly progressive damage to the spinal cord.
The first symptoms may be paralysis for which no other cause can be found, such as a herniated disc. The diagnosis can most likely be made with magnetic resonance imaging, but even then it is often not possible to determine the cause with certainty. The treatment of an AV fistula in the spinal cord can be carried out by means of a vascular catheter.
The earlier the disease is detected and treated, the better the prognosis. An AV fistula of the kidney represents a direct pathological connection between the blood-carrying renal artery and the blood-carrying renal vein. In one in four cases it is congenital, in the other cases it is the result of injury, inflammation or medical intervention such as surgery.
Often the AV fistula does not cause any symptoms. In some cases, however, it can lead to high blood pressure, flank pain or bloody urine. The diagnosis is usually made by an ultrasound examination, a computed tomography of the abdomen and an imaging of the vessels (angiography).
The AV fistula of the kidney is usually treated by closure through a vascular catheter advanced over the inguinal vessels. In some cases, however, surgery may be required to remove part or all of the kidney. Since the kidneys are among the organs with the highest blood supply, life-threatening internal bleeding can occur if they are not treated.