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Disease Profile

Pulmonary arteriovenous malformation

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

PAVM; Pulmonary arteriovenous fistula; Pulmonary AVM;


Pulmonary arteriovenous malformation (PAVM) is a condition that affects blood flow between the heart and the lungs. Affected people have an abnormal connection between the pulmonary vein (carries blood from the lungs to the heart) and pulmonary artery (carries blood from the heart to the lungs). As a result, blood may not be properly oxygenated by the lungs. Some affected people may have no signs or symptoms of the condition. When present, symptoms may include difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, difficulty exercising, and blue skin. Most people with PAVM have an inherited condition called hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, which is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Other conditions that are less commonly associated with PAVM include liver disease (mainly liver cirrhosis), certain forms of congenital heart disease, chronic infections, and metastatic thyroid cancer. Treatment varies based on the severity of the condition and the associated signs and symptoms. When necessary, treatment typically includes embolization, surgery, and/or addressing associated conditions.[1][2][3]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

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      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

      • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.

        In-Depth Information

        • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Pulmonary arteriovenous malformation. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

          Selected Full-Text Journal Articles


            1. Shovlin CL. Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. December 2014; 190(11):1217-1228.
            2. Barry A Love, MD. Pulmonary Arteriovenous Fistulae. Medscape Reference. January 2015; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/900681-overview.
            3. Pulmonary arteriovenous fistula. MedlinePlus. August 2014; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001090.htm.