• Marina Pinheiro LAQV-REQUIMTE, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal; CHUP, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto, Porto; Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Medicine, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
  • Mariana Carreira CHL, Centro Hospitalar de Leiria, Leiria, Portugal
  • João Rocha-Neves Department of Biomedicine – Unit of Anatomy, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Porto; Department of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, Porto; Department of Surgery and Physiology, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Portugal



Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) involving the upper limb constitute 10% of the total AVMs. In the upper limb, AVMs are more frequent in the hand than in the arm, being the hand one of the body’s regions more frequently associated with AVMs, coming after the head and neck. The total prevalence of the upper limb AVMs remains unknown and there is currently no definitive consensus for the treatment of upper limb AVMs. The purpose of this study was to review the
best evidence of the treatment for the upper limb AVMs and describe their clinical characteristics and diagnosis. The majority of patients with asymptomatic AVMs follows a conservative management. In the symptomatic patients, the treatment with surgery and or chemical embolization is beneficial. The amputation can be necessary in the case of life-threatening and massive AVMs, constituting the first step in patient's rehabilitation. Although the most common option for the management of symptomatic or functional AVMs is the embolo-sclerotherapy combined with surgery, different outcomes should be taken into account to plan the treatment, specially the presence of symptoms, bleeding and heart failure.


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How to Cite

Pinheiro M, Carreira M, Rocha-Neves J. MANAGEMENT OF THE UPPER LIMB ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATIONS. Rev Port Cir Cardiotorac Vasc [Internet]. 2022 Apr. 11 [cited 2023 May 30];29(1):45-51. Available from:



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