A passageway between an artery and vein, which may be congenital, surgically joined (as in for hemodialysis treatments), or pathologically acquired (as in by trauma or erosion of an arterial aneurysm).
Surgically, an AV shunt is created to divert blood from one pathway to another without going through the capillary network.
Word origin: shunt: Middle English shunten, to flinch.
Alternative forms: arteriovenous shunt.
See also: anastomosis.