Monday, March 23, 2009

AVM's and Led Zeppelin... huh?

Arteriovenous Malformation

*What is Arteriovenous Malformation?*
Arteriovenous Malformations(AVMs) are defects of the circulatory system that are believed to arise during embryonic development or shortly after birth. The are comprised of tangled arteries and veins. The presence of an AVM disrupts the normal function of these arteries and veins, which is taking blood away from the heart and returning it to it. An AVM can develop in many different areas, but those in the brain and spinal cord can have widespread effects on the rest of the body. AVMs of the brain and spinal cord are believed to effect approximately 300,000 male and female Americans.

Most people with AVMs don't experience any symptoms and they are only detected during an autopsy or during treatment for an unrelated disorder. Symptoms only tend to occur when the damage from the AVM to the brain or spinal cord reaches a critical level. For those people that do experience symptoms, seizures and headaches are the most generalized. Other symptoms include muscle weakness or paralysis in one part of the body, a loss of coordination, dizziness, visual disturbances, and memory deficits just to name a few...


Today is going to be definitions day...


Definition number two...


For this week's pathology blog I decided to talk about arteriovenous malformations or AVM. In the image seen, this patient's AVM, which was not previously known about, ruptured, causing an acute bleed and was subsequently treated with surgery. During this surgery, the patient's AVM was discovered and also surgcially treated.

An AVM is a defect where the arteries and veins of the brain are not connected properly. The arteries and veins pretty much become a big jumble of vessels and of course can't function properly. This causes increased blood flow and subsequently higher blood pressure in the area of the AVM. Unlike an aneurysm, there are no set "risk factors" for an AVM. They are considered to be congenital as most people who suffer from an AVM are born with them.

The most common symptom of an AVM is an acute brain bleed. Other symptoms may include seizures, loss of motor functions, loss of senses, mass effect seen on a CT scan, severe head or facial pain. These types of symptoms are often confused with those of a stroke therefore proper screening is very important!!

Treatment for AVM's vary and depend greatly upon several factors including the age of the patient, the location of the AVM, the size of the AVM, and whether or not the patient is at risk for an acute bleed. Treatments may include surgery, radiation, embolization, or a combination of these.

I found my information at

that one is from here...


Okay I know that Led Zeppelin is a far throw from AVM definitions but hey it is my blog!
Here is one for you...

AVM Survivors Network

As many of you know, this past year was a very difficult one for me. I was in bad shape with my AVM, lots of pain, ugly wounds, crazy bleeding... And I can absolutely say that I am feeling so much better today. The difference between today and one year ago is like night and day.

While my treatment with Dr. Yakes has obviously played a huge part in my improvement, I also know that the community over at has been instrumental in my mental and emotional health. I will be eternally grateful to Ben Munoz for creating the site, and am so vey happy to be a part of this new family.

This morning as I logged into my iGoogle page, I saw that my new friend Scott Orn had posted a link from his blog about Turns out that our AVM support network is featured as Site of the Month at Northeast Center for Special Care.

Our AVM family tells Ben all the time how grateful we are, and how he is the coolest kid around. But it is very nice to see him, and the site he created, recognized by others for the benefit it offers to people suffering from Arteriovenous Malformations.

Go Ben!!!

You go girl!!

Ben is something special... for all of us. Thank you Ben.

Ben gave me a place to vent... and to listen to others with AVMs let me see if I can find my page... hummm can't show it to ya... but I can offer you a look at the page.
go here

some Led Zeppelin for you...
(okay fine it is for me!)

Led Zeppelin Black Dog 1973

Led Zepelin - Stairway to Heaven
and finally..

Led Zeppelin - Black Dog
okay it would not be me if I did not give you something to buy...

and there ya' go... avm's and Led Zeppelin... ya just can't do better than that... can you.

I'm a gonna go... peace out... R


Neo said...

Rock on man, that my friend is one of the greatest bands to have ever played

DelorumRex said...


ShalonAVM said...

Hey! Thanks for linking back to my post. And how cool is the site of the month thing?!?!?

And I think I have you figured out my friend, but I will keep your super hero identity a secret! :)

DelorumRex said...

he he he!

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