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Expansion of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations after grand mal seizures and other circumstances of PAVM growth
  1. Ami Schattner1,2 and
  2. Ina Dubin2
  1. 1 Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University Hadassah, Jerusalem, Israel
  2. 2 Department of Medicine, Laniado Hospital, Sanz Medical Center, Netanya, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ami Schattner, amischatt{at}


A woman with asymptomatic pulmonary arteriovenous malformation (PAVM) discovered incidentally on admission developed recurrent generalised seizures. Immediately after, the PAVM demonstrated marked expansion, and was safely resected. Congenital PAVMs (associated with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia or sporadic) are considered stable lesions that exhibit very slow growth if at all. A review of the literature reveals all circumstances of accelerated growth of PAVM (puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, pulmonary hypertension) and suggests a novel mechanism of seizure-associated expansion. This is important because the size and rapid growth of PAVMs correlate with the potential for rupture and other ominous complications such as right to left shunt and paradoxical emboli. The new seizures–PAVM progression association mandates recognition since the risk of seizures in patients with PAVM is substantial. Our observations strongly suggest the need to monitor PAVM in patients with or without haemorrhagic telangiectasis by repeated imaging after generalised seizures to evaluate potential expansion and risk.

  • respiratory system
  • emergency medicine
  • epilepsy and seizures
  • pregnancy
  • interventional radiology
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  • Contributors AS wrote the manuscript and ID participated.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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