Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) Community
Was it an AVM?
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WELCOME TO THE ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATION (AVM) COMMUNITY: This Patient-To-Patient Community is for discussions relating to Arteriovenous Malformations, which are defects of the circulatory system that are generally believed to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth. They are comprised of snarled tangles of arteries and veins.

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Was it an AVM?

In August 2009 I suffered extreme pain in my back and within three hours I lost all sensory and motor function below my belly button. I was rushed to the hospital and there was an operation and they removed blood that was putting pressure on the spinal cord and ultimately damaged it. When they were done, they showed by white parts in the MRI where the cells had died.
They offered to do an angiogram to search for the AVM but I declined because of the risks involved.
Finally, one year later, I did an MR angiogram because it seemed safe. They didn't find an AVM, but now I'm told that it's not as accurate as a real angiogram.
I guess I have a few questions:
1. Is it true that MR angiogram is not as accurate as a real angiogram?
2. Can the white parts in my spinal cord become black again.
3. If it was an AVM and it hemmoraged, can this happen again or is the AVM now gone?
4. How is a spinal cord injury caused by an AVM different from a real spinal cord injury (car accident, etc.)?
5. Are their other things that could have caused the bleeding?

Any information that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
1) There is a difference between the 2 angiograms, because a regular angiogram is more detailed. Though a CT angiogram is more detailed than an MR angiogram, so you can ask about having a CT angiogram instead, which is less invasive and can give a similar result to a regular angiogram.
2). I don't really know the answer to this, but I would guess it's a possibility, just like any other malformation.
3) If it grows back, it can happen again.
4) It's different because of the force/pressure on the spinal cord. With a car accident, there is a tremendous blow to the spinal cord causing somewhat "clean" breaks. An AVM is different with less direct force and can cause different problems.
5) There are other possibilities for what could cause the bleeding, but that would have to be looked at by some type of imaging device to see what exactly was going on there.
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