The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

Arteriovenous Malformations are always present at birth, but are usually not noticed until later in life. Sometimes they do not appear until adulthood.

Defective blood flow has been associated with these lesions. As the lesion ages, the vessels enlarge and thicken to compensate for the increased blood supply. There are two grades: low and high. Low grade grow slowly with the child and high grade expand rapidly, growing faster than the child until the lesion may eventually become life threatening.

An AV malformation is a firm mass. Common sites are the lips and other head and neck areas. Mixed malformations include a combination of two or more vascular lesions.

If you need additional resources or support with birthmark related problems, you can use our VBF Find a Doctor feature, or Ask a VBF Expert.

Dr. Linda’s Fact Sheet: Venous Malformations