Case History of Anna
Anna is 19-years-old. She was admitted to the hospital in March for treatment of schizoaffective disorder. She underwent routine work-up revealing an incidental finding of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in the right occipital lobe of her brain. The occipital lobe controls part of visual function.
An AVM is a collection of abnormal blood vessels where arterial blood flows directly into veins thereby bypassing the capillaries. Because of this, they are high pressure lesions and are at risk of causing a brain hemorrhage or bleeding into the brain. A brain hemorrhage can cause permanent damage or even death.
Fortunately for Anna, her AVM was found incidentally and was treated surgically by Dr. Neil Martin before she developed symptoms or complications. In the operating suite, Dr. Martin was able to fully resect the AVM.
The pre-operative images below show the abnormality. The first image is the MRI scan and the AVM is visible in the lower left portion. The second image is from the conventional cerebral angiogram (an invasive procedure using injected dye to visualize the brain blood vessels). In this image, the AVM is visible on the left. The other blood vessels in the image appear to be normal.
Anna recovered very well and was discharged from the hospital a few days following surgery. She has minimal deficit in her left-sided peripheral vision and is currently working with eye specialists to manage this. Otherwise she recovered fully and returned to school.
Jennifer Varma, NP