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Thread: Questions about AV Fistula

  1. #1

    Questions about AV Fistula

    Hi there,
    I am new to this site, if you have any info or any insight on something called AV Fistula I would appreciate it.
    My husband has been going through some terrible issues without getting a diagnosis, at one point the neurologist thought it may have been als, now they are considering AV Fistula, my husband finally has an appointment at Virginia Mason next week, we are hoping to get some answers, in the mean time I am searching out what this is as it is hard to still be waiting for a diagnosis, I found it hard to understand on the internet.
    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    AV fistula is a type of AVM (Arterial Venal Malformation) -- basically, it means the arteries feeding the spinal canal have directly shunted directly to the venous system bypassing proper capillary tissues. This results in edema or swelling in the surrounding tissue as the venous or vein system cannot handle the higher arterial pressures. (google spinal AVM) This can cause temporary or permanent neurological decline due to ischemia (oxygen deprivation of the neurological tissue). You need to find out if it's dural or subdural relating to whether it's in the central cord tissue, or outside it.

    Either way, you need diagnosis immediately -- they will want to treat either with open surgery (laminectomy), or by embolization with an interventional radiologist through cathetarization. In both cases, they seek to block off (by embolizing or clipping in the case of surgery) the offending arterial structures and thereby stop the edema and swelling. The neruological problems may correct post, or they may not. Ask a lot of questions, esp, if surgical, what immediate followup care they offer.
    Get a second opinion from a surgeon that specializes in AVM treatment.

  3. #3
    I would definitely recommend two opinions. I would also write down any and all questions that you have. No question is too small. Make sure that whomever you pick to do your care, you are comfortable with. And that they have treated others with similar problems. Ask them what their expectations of the treatment are and the length of time for recovery. Remember that nothing is written in stone, but at least this will give you some guidelines that may help you with planning.
    Good luck and let us know if you need anything else.

  4. #4
    Hi, 5th wheel was very through and that should help you understand. I was treated for an av dural fistular at john hopkins sept. 2009 and it left me partially paralized from the waist down. I have much to tell and will be happy to if you leave a contact number on my e-mail. . Good luck poobear

  5. #5
    5th wheel, have seen nothing from you since march. was your husband found to have a dural fistular?? if so how was he treated?? as i stated before in march i was treated for a dural av fistular in sept. 2009 and can offer some insight if you would like. please advise poobear

  6. #6
    sorry my reply was intended for RAESHA NOT 5TH WHEEL poobear

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