ARTERIOVENOUS fistulas of the face and neck are rare clinical entities but do occur either as congenital disorders or as the result of trauma. Flynn and Mulder1 define the congenital arteriovenous fistula as a nontraumatic vascular abnormality in which the arterial blood passes into the venous system without traversing the capillary bed. This type of arteriovenous fistula shows gradual progression throughout life and is believed to result from the persistence of multiple communications between artery and vein beyond the embryonic period.
The traumatic variety is recognized by a single communication between the artery and vein and is found in larger vessels. Trauma may be initiated by penetrating injuries, compound fractures, or injuries incidental to surgical procedures. Rarely, a blunt force may initiate the traumatic incident. When an adjacent artery and vein are traumatized, a hematoma may form proximal to the injured vessels and an endothelial channel develops which diverts
Rankow RM, Misir HC, King MC. Arteriovenous Fistula of External Carotid Artery. Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;88(2):200–204. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00770010202020
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