BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuPulmonary arteriovenous fistulaArteriovenous malformation - pulmonaryPulmonary arteriovenous fistula is an abnormal connection between an artery and vein in the lungs. As a result, blood passes through the lungs without receiving enough oxygen. Causes Pulmonary arteriovenous fistulas are usually the result of abnormal development of the blood vessels of the lung. Most occur in people with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). These people often have abnormal blood vessels in many other parts of the body.Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (...Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an inherited disorder of the blood vessels that can cause excessive bleeding.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Fistulas also can be a complication of liver disease or lung injury, although these causes are much less common. Symptoms Many people have no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they can include:Bloody sputum Bloody sputumCoughing up blood is the spitting up of blood or bloody mucus from the lungs and throat (respiratory tract). Hemoptysis is the medical term for cough...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Difficulty breathing Difficulty breathingBreathing difficulty may involve:Difficult breathing Uncomfortable breathingFeeling like you are not getting enough airRead Article Now Book Mark Article Difficulty exercising Nosebleeds Shortness of breath with exertion Chest pain Chest painChest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Blue skin (cyanosis) CyanosisA bluish color to the skin or mucous membrane is usually due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. The medical term is cyanosis.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Clubbing of the fingersClubbingClubbing is changes in the areas under and around the toenails and fingernails that occur with some disorders. The nails also show changes.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests The health care provider will examine you. The exam may show:Abnormal blood vessels (telangiectasias) on the skin or mucous membranes TelangiectasiasTelangiectasias are small, widened blood vessels on the skin. They are usually harmless, but may be associated with several diseases.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Abnormal sound, called a murmur when a stethoscope is placed over the abnormal blood vessel Low oxygen when measure with a pulse oximeterTests that may be done include:Arterial blood gas, with and without oxygen (usually oxygen treatment does not improve the arterial blood gas as much as expected) Arterial blood gasBlood gases are a measurement of how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in your blood. They also determine the acidity (pH) of your blood.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Complete blood count (CBC) Complete blood countA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Chest x-ray Chest x-rayA chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Chest CT scan Chest CT scanA chest CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest and upper abdomen....Read Article Now Book Mark Article Echocardiogram with bubble study to check the function of the heart and assess for presence of a shunt EchocardiogramAn echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart. The picture and information it produces is more detailed than a s...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Lung function tests Lung function testsPulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure breathing and how well the lungs are functioning.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Perfusion radionuclide lung scan to measure breathing and circulation (perfusion) in all areas of the lungs Perfusion radionuclide lung scanA pulmonary ventilation/perfusion scan involves two nuclear scan tests to measure breathing (ventilation) and circulation (perfusion) in all areas of...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pulmonary arteriogram to view the lung arteriesArteriogramAn arteriogram is an imaging test that uses x-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries. It can be used to view arteries in the heart, brain...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment A small number of people who have no symptoms may not need treatment. For most people with fistulas, the treatment of choice is to block the fistula during an arteriogram (embolization).ArteriogramAn arteriogram is an imaging test that uses x-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries. It can be used to view arteries in the heart, brain...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Some people may need surgery to remove the abnormal vessels and nearby lung tissue.When arteriovenous fistulas are caused by liver disease, the treatment is a liver transplant.Liver transplantLiver transplant is surgery to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Outlook (Prognosis) The outlook for people with HHT is not as good as for those without HHT. For people without HHT, surgery to remove the abnormal vessels usually has a good outcome, and the condition is not likely to return.For people with liver disease as a cause, prognosis depends on liver disease. Possible Complications Complications may include:Bleeding in the lung Bleeding in the lungCoughing up blood is the spitting up of blood or bloody mucus from the lungs and throat (respiratory tract). Hemoptysis is the medical term for cough...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Stroke due to blood clot that travels from the lungs to the arms, legs, or brain (paradoxical venous embolism) StrokeA stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack. " If blood flow is cut off for longer th...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Infection in the brain or heart valve, especially in patients with HHT When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your provider if you often have nosebleeds or difficulty breathing, especially if you also have a personal or family history of HHT. Prevention Because HHT is often genetic, prevention is not usually possible. Genetic counseling may help in some cases.Genetic counselingGenetics is the study of heredity, the process of a parent passing certain genes on to their children. A person's appearance, such as height, hair co...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Open ReferencesReferencesShovlin CL, Jackson JE. Pulmonary vascular abnormalities. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 61.Stowell J, Gilman MD, Walker CM. Congenital thoracic malformations. In: Shepard JO, ed. Thoracic Imaging: The Requisites. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 8.Webb GD, Smallhorn JF, Therrien J, Redington AN. Congenital heart disease in the adult and pediatric patient. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 75.AllVideoImagesTogRelated Information Review Date: 8/3/2020 Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.