An irregular link between an artery and a vein is known as an Arteriovenous (AV) Fistula. Typically, blood travels from the arteries to the capillaries, then to the veins. The capillaries in the blood transport nutrients and oxygen to the body’s organs.
Blood flows straight from an artery into a vein through an arteriovenous fistula, skipping some capillaries in the process. Less blood is delivered to the organs below the avoided capillaries as a result.
Although they can form anywhere on the body, arteriovenous fistulas typically affect the legs. For use in dialysis, an arteriovenous fistula may be surgically created in patients with severe kidney failure.
Other Nephrology Treatments
There are frequently no symptoms or indications associated with small arteriovenous fistulas in the legs, arms, lungs, kidneys, or brain. Small arteriovenous fistulas typically only require surveillance by a medical professional. Signs and symptoms of large arteriovenous fistulas are possible.
Arteriovenous fistula signs and symptoms may include:
A significant arteriovenous fistula in the lungs (pulmonary arteriovenous fistula) is a serious condition and can cause:
An arteriovenous fistula in the digestive tract can cause gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.
Arteriovenous fistulas may be present at birth (congenital) or they may occur later in life (acquired). Causes of arteriovenous fistulas include: