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arteriovenous fistula

arteriovenous fistula in Medicine

arteriovenous fistula n.
An abnormal communication between an artery and a vein, usually resulting in the formation of an arteriovenous aneurysm.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for arteriovenous fistula

abnormal direct opening between an artery and a vein; it sometimes results from accidental penetration wounds or from vascular disease, or it may be congenital in origin. As a result of the defect, the arterial blood is passed to the venous side of the fistula, and the blood pressure in the vein increases, causing distension. Symptoms include an aching pain in or beyond the area of the injury and puffy legs that frequently show distended veins. When there is an arteriovenous fistula, the pulse in the vein is diminished by direct compression of the supplying artery, resulting in a continuous murmur that may help in diagnosing and locating the fistula. Normal blood flow can usually be reestablished by surgery

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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