A cerebral arteriovenous malformation is a tangled web of arteries and veins in the brain. It is typically something you are born with. The tangled nature of the vessels creates high pressure—like a kinked hose—making the abnormality prone to rupture. Approximately 50% of people with an AVM will suffer a hemorrhage in their lifetime. A rupture of an AVM can be life-threatening and result in death or varying degrees of brain damage. Many successful treatments are available for arteriovenous malformation, including embolization of feeding arteries, various types of surgical resection, and stereotactic radiation therapy.
Our client suffered severe disabling injuries when an AVM in her brain ruptured. She suffered a stroke, which caused permanent brain damage, cognitive deficits, and left hemiplegia.
Our client had a long history of headaches, which may or may not have been related to the AVM. In attempts to discover the cause of the headaches, she underwent two MRIs—performed years apart—once in 1989 and again in 2003. Coincidentally, the same radiologist read both MRIs and both times he reported the MRIs as normal, missing what we allege was a readily visible AVM. Not quite one year after the second MRI, the AVM ruptured.