Encyclopedia Home / P / Pulmonary arteriovenous fistula

Pulmonary arteriovenous fistula

  • Alternative Names

    Arteriovenous malformation - pulmonary


    A small number of patients who have no symptoms may not need treatment. For most patients with fistulas, the treatment of choice is to block the fistula during an arteriogram (embolization).

    Some patients 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.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    The outlook for patients with HHT is not as good as for those without HHT. For patients with HHT, surgery to remove the abnormal vessels usually has a good outcome, and the condition is not likely to return.


    Major complications after treatment for this condition are unusual. Complications may include:

    • Bleeding in the lung
    • Blood clot that travels from the lungs to the arms, legs, or brain (paradoxical embolism)
    • Infection in the brain or heart valve

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you often have nosebleeds or difficulty breathing, especially if you also have a history of HHT.