Arteriovenous Malformation

Anatomic Features

Arteriovenous Malformation

AVMs are dilated weak-walled blood vessels which in the bowel usually are close to the inside surface. They appear as very red areas. They tend to bleed easily with minimal trauma. Image 1 shows a single AVM about the size of a pencil eraser. Image 2 is a look at the cecum in the right colon. You see the dilated red blood vessels scattered around the bowel wall. The only problem with AVMs is their tendency to bleed small amounts of blood over time resulting in anemia or a low red cell count. Some AVMs can be cauterized using heat or laser therapy. When they are extensive, surgery may be required.