Posttraumatic arteriovenous malformation of the face: A case report

Solon T. Kao, Patrick W. Walker, Henry W Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background Head and neck arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are reported to occur in 0.1% of the population. Extracranial AVMs account for only 8.1% of head and neck AVMs. Of these, traumatically acquired AVMs of the face are generally reported as quite rare. When secondary to trauma, the lesion is usually supplied by a single vessel, as compared to the multiple vessels often seen with congenital etiology. Objectives Understanding of regional anatomy is paramount when assessing and managing facial injuries. As an integral health care provider for the facial trauma patient, it is the responsibility of the emergency physician to recognize this rare pathologic lesion necessary to coordinate surgical management of the traumatic AVM. Case Report We present a case report of a patient who sustained a facial laceration complicated by the development of a vascular malformation. The facial laceration in this case report highlights the complexity of wound evaluation and management when treating patients in the emergency department. Conclusion Traumatic AVMs are quite rare in the head and neck and are mostly seen in the extremities. Although rare, they have been reported after typical facial trauma as well as elective surgical procedures. The management of such lesions may include selective embolization or surgical exploration with ligation. Emergency physicians and facial trauma surgeons are challenged with recognizing and treating these rare but very real vascular lesions. It is our hope that this case report provides an overview of posttraumatic AVMs in the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • facial emergency
  • facial laceration
  • vascular malformation
  • vascular pathology
  • vascular trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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