happens during embolization?
the embolization the patient is awake but is made comfortable
with the help of the anesthesia team who monitors and gives
him/her medicines by an intravenous line. After the
embolization, the patient usually spends the night in the
Neurological Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where he/she is
monitored closely. Patients are usually hospitalized for one
night for each embolization and usually require 2-3
embolizations at 2-6 week intervals. Patients resume their
normal full activity immediately upon each discharge. There
may be some mild headaches after the embolization related to
the blood vessels of the AVM clotting, or some nausea related
to some of the medicines that are given.
exam is performed before and after a small amount of medicine
is injected. This can help to tell if the vessel that feeds
the AVM also feeds normal and important portions of the brain.
After this, a permanent agent is injected into the AVM and the
catheter removed. This is repeated for each vessel that feeds
What are "investigational studies"?
are a rare condition affecting about 250,000 people in the
United States. Much remains to be known.
Which AVMs bleed?
Why do they bleed
when they do?
types of AVMs exist?
Which is the best way to treat each type of AVM?
How can one maximize
the benefits and minimize the risks of treatments?
These questions can
only be answered by studies. All studies require the consent
of the patient, approval of the hospital, and often the
approval by the FDA and the company involved in making the
medicine or material. You may be asked to participate in such
study. The nature of the study and the reason for the study
are explained in a consent form that you will be asked to
Life with AVMs
people with AVMs will never experience any adverse symptoms.
With age, however, the risks of a rupture increase. The
consequences of a rupture can be quite severe. In many cases
preventative treatment is needed.
of Bleeding from an
Many patients with AVMs
have seizures or persistent headaches. If a rupture occurs,
the patient almost always experiences an extreme headache.
There is no known
activity that is known to protect or cause a bleed. There is
reservation, however, towards the use of aspirin,
aspiring-containing compounds, or non-steroidal