Arteriovenous malformation of the neck: An unusual cause of hoarseness successfully treated with endovascular techniques

October 23, 2013
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Hoarseness is a common presenting symptom in patients referred to the otolaryngology clinic. An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in the neck is a previously unreported cause of hoarseness. We describe the case of a 61-year-old woman who presented with hoarseness and vocal fold paralysis, which was caused by an AVM. She was successfully treated with endovascular embolization. Devascularization of the AVM resulted in symptomatic relief of the hoarseness and resolution of the vocal fold paralysis, presumably secondary to interval reduction in edema and venous congestion.


Hoarseness is a common clinical presentation in middle-aged to elderly patients. Its most common causes are acute laryngitis, overuse or misuse of the voice, and malignancies. Surgical treatment of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is fraught with technical difficulties, and significant morbidity is possible secondary to uncontrolled hemorrhage. Endovascular treatment with alcohol and/or liquid embolic agents is the preferred method of management of these lesions.1

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