arteriovenous shuntmedical dictionary

<anatomy, surgery> A direct connection between an artery and vein. Most often due to the surgical joining of an artery and a vein under the skin for the purpose of haemodialysis.

Larger arteriovenous shunts can create significant extra workload on the heart since arterial blood is diverted back to the venous circulation before it has a chance to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the body tissues.

(20 Jun 2000)