• An estimated 1 in every 5,000 people has an AVM, although one recent publication suggested that number is closer to 1 in every 2,000.
• Each year, about four in every 100 people with an AVM will experience a hemorrhage.
• Each hemorrhage poses a 15-20 percent risk of death, 30 percent neurological morbidity, and 10 percent mortality.
• AVMs are the second most identifiable cause of brain hemorrhage after cerebral aneurysms, accounting for 10 percent of all cases.
• Approximately 50 percent of patients present initially with a bleed; often patients with an AVM experience no symptoms and their AVMs are discovered only incidentally, usually either during an autopsy or during treatment for an unrelated disorder.
• The annual rate of rupture for brain AVMs is believed to be around 4 percent, however that number goes up when certain factors apply –
– when the brain AVM presents with hemorrhage;
– when it has a deep venous drainage;
– when it is associated with aneurysms; or,
– when it is in a deep location
* (all four factors associated to higher risk of hemorrhage apply to Kendall’s AVM)
There are three means of treating AVMs;
* Surgical removal – which is the ideal method because it results in immediate removal of the AVM, although it’s not always an option, as in Kendall’s case.
* Embolization – typically used in conjunction with other treatment options)
* Stereotactic radiosurgery – using radiation to shrink and hopefully obliterate the AVM. This was Kendall’s only available option.
– facts and information obtained through various sources, primarily from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (aans.org)