Has anybody heard of this? AVM & Brain Abscess.

  1. Hi, all. My father is currently in the hospital for a brain abscess- at least that's his primary Dx for now. He was initially a R/O tumor with a secondary Dx of pneumonia. We haven't talked to the neuro doc yet- I think he's only consulted with the Internal Medicine doc so far. But, the IM doc came up late last night and said that my Dad has an AVM (not pneumonia, as previously thought), and he was told that the AVM could have caused the brain abscess. Has anybody here heard of this? If so, how common is it, and what is the usual course of Tx? The IM doc had never heard of this, either, so he couldn't tell me much.

    The doc said the abscess was about 2-3 cm, and he's currently on Levaquin for now. He is also anemic, has facial telagiectases, and a Hx of nosebleeds & H/A's. They're scoping him this AM, because of the anemia, and a bowel "abnormality" found on an Abd. CT. He's supposed to have an open MRI after the holiday- he's a big guy, and has to go out of the facility for it.

    How worried should I be about this? My Dad is not one to go to a GP for regular checkups, and I'm wondering if this is congenital, or if he's at risk for other problems because of this- stroke, aneurysm, etc. Any experience or info about this would be helpful. I feel somewhat helpless about it, because it's not something I've never heard of CVM causing brain abscesses. The good news is that I think this helps in R/O'ing a brain tumor- I guess we'll know more on that after the MRI, though.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    Don't have anything to offer to help with your questions... but I do want to offer you encouragement and extend warmest wishes for a full and speedy recovery for your Dad !

    (((HUGS)))
  4. by   BBFRN
    Thanks, Jnette. I'll be heading back up there after I finish up with his laundry. I'm hoping to catch the neurologist today- even though it's Sunday.
  5. by   jnette
    Quote from lgflamini
    Thanks, Jnette. I'll be heading back up there after I finish up with his laundry. I'm hoping to catch the neurologist today- even though it's Sunday.
    Wish him the best. Do keep us posted. :kiss
  6. by   leslie :-D
    laura,

    avm stands for arterial-venous malformation; i don't know the implications but thought i would give you something to research....my prayers are with you and yours.

    always,

    leslie
  7. by   KaroSnowQueen
    Not sure about the brain abcess, but my son in law's mother had an AVM in her brain, had to have brain surgery to take it out, resect the veins, etc. She had surgery on a Monday, went home on a Friday. She had to learn certain words over, couldn't get them right, would call a banana an apple, for instance, and had some LUE weakness. BUT this was done at home, no regular therapy (she was stubborn) and within a year was perfectly normal (or as normal as she was, lol) and back to work running a day care!!!!! She has to take certain meds, etc. but is doing fine, has to go back once a year for check up, MRI of head, etc to be sure it doesn't reform.
  8. by   MelissaRN
    AVM: Arteriovenous malformation. I've had patients with those before. From what I've read they are pretty similiar to an aneurysm, but because there's venous blood involved there's a better treatment outcome because if there is a bleed it's slower. Not really sure about that, but that is what I remember reading in med/surg. Anyone else?

    I also had a patient that had a brain abscess which she had to have surgery for. She started getting headaches and then had a seizure. She did great with the surgery and went home a couple of days later with no deficits. I guess the abscess could have been caused by anything. It could have been because of a tooth abscess or even sinusitis! Anyway best of luck to your dad.
  9. by   BBFRN
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your replies. I know about AVMs, but the weird thing is that his AVM in the right lung caused the brain abscess. Apparently, he has a congenital condition called Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome. His father was Dx'd with it years ago, and now my Dad has been Dx'd with it. I even asked my Dad about any congenital things he might know about last night, but he is in & out mentally right now, so he said no. So, he has the brain abscess, which he'll need a crani for, he has fatty nodules on his liver (don't know the Tx course yet), a colon mass which will have to be taken care of, and I think they're going to embolize the AVM in his lung. No Sz's, thank goodness- I was afraid of that. But he has had LOC a couple times, is kind of out of his head at times, H/A's, etc. My siblings and I have to be screened for it now- we have a 50% chance of having it ourselves, and quite frankly, it might answer some things for us- Hx's of nosebleeds, H/A's, etc.

    He's a sick puppy right now, and is not a happy camper. Thanks for the well wishes- I'll keep you all posted if you want to hear how it goes.
  10. by   KaroSnowQueen
    Let us know how he does! Is he at your hospital or somewhere else?
  11. by   P_RN
    I've learned something new today.

    I looked it up and found this on eMedicine. http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic1668.htm

    Please keep us posted about your Dad. Best wishes to him and you.
  12. by   Rnn2003
    laura, you and your family have my prayers for your dad's recovery.




    Quote from lgflamini
    hi guys,

    thanks for your replies. i know about avms, but the weird thing is that his avm in the right lung caused the brain abscess. apparently, he has a congenital condition called osler-weber-rendu syndrome. his father was dx'd with it years ago, and now my dad has been dx'd with it. i even asked my dad about any congenital things he might know about last night, but he is in & out mentally right now, so he said no. so, he has the brain abscess, which he'll need a crani for, he has fatty nodules on his liver (don't know the tx course yet), a colon mass which will have to be taken care of, and i think they're going to embolize the avm in his lung. no sz's, thank goodness- i was afraid of that. but he has had loc a couple times, is kind of out of his head at times, h/a's, etc. my siblings and i have to be screened for it now- we have a 50% chance of having it ourselves, and quite frankly, it might answer some things for us- hx's of nosebleeds, h/a's, etc.

    he's a sick puppy right now, and is not a happy camper. thanks for the well wishes- i'll keep you all posted if you want to hear how it goes.
  13. by   BBFRN
    Thanks for the prayers...and thanks for the link, PRN- it was helpful and informative.

    Karosnowqueen- I sent you a PM, because I know you live in the same area as me. He's not in my hospital, but the one he's in is great. His nurses are absolutely wonderful and patient with all of us. I'm really glad to have this site and all of you, because I really don't want to bother his nurses with these questions- I know they're really busy. He'll get his MRI today, so we'll know for sure what they're going to do from there. He's convinced he has brain CA (his wife is end-stage breast CA right now), so maybe after the MRI shows it's definitely an abscess, maybe he'll feel a little better about things. He was a little more lucid yesterday, so that's a good sign.

    I found another site with info about this- it's http://www.hht.org/web/ if anybody's interested. I 'll be visiting him again this afternoon, so I'll know more this evening. Thanks to all of you that responded- it's been a real help.
  14. by   moonchild20002000
    I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.

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