Brain AVM and High Pulse

One doctor suggested that my high pulse (a resting rate of 90-100 BPM) is related to my brain AVM. Has anyone else heard of this? My blood pressure is normal, but I am prone to anxiety, and I think it’s because it takes a very little trigger to “get my heart racing.”


From, Julia

I prefer to call you Hermione - she’s my daughter’s favorite - and this daughter has read each book at least 7 times…

My AVM started left shoulder and neck (42 years ago) and the last surgery - January of 2018 was definitely in the brain, so I’ve got them all covered, so to speak. I have had, on more than one occasion had my AVM doctors (at Mayo and locally) tell me that it’s a good thing to keep my pulse from going too high - because that pushes on vein walls which increases the chance of bleed and also just growth of the AVM as well.

Last week I had my annual physical with my primary care doc. He urged me to get more exercise but to set very modest goals. He asked if I had a fit bit - I do, I just wear it on the wrong hand because it doesn’t fit over my wrist brace. My doc recommended that I aim for an average of 1 hour a day that shows up as heart rate in the “fat burning” zone (yes I need that). For me, that works out to between 95 and 115 bpm. He said that if I get consistent with that, I will find myself eventually needing to speed up or do more or something to get the heart rate to that level.

So, yes I’ve heard of it - oh and I’m on two blood pressure meds. The higher number was close to 200 at my 6 week post op check up. Now it’s 70 something over 50s to low 60s.

Any more questions, ask away.


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Have you tried anxiety meds? < Yes, far from my favorite. . . But, they worked for me when I needed them. They put me on Valium in ICU, when they couldn’t get my BP or HR to drop. . . I would just freak out(that’s the best way I can put it), for no reason at all - this lasted for quite a bit after my ICU stay. . . I am clear of meds now, during the day at least - I still require a little help for sleep.

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When I was first researching AVMs when I thought I might have one back in 2016, I think one of the things I read about was that if untreated, an AVM can lead on to the heart working harder as it tries to compensate for the fact that some of the blood is doing a short circuit back to the heart. I also think I read that the veins that are being flowed into grow over time, untreated, meaning that the amount of blood short cutting round the circuit increases gradually over time.

So, I think it can be related to the AVM and if your doctor suggests so, very likely to be reliable.

I’m also pretty sure that @wales had both heart and AVM things going on, though I think she believed her AVM had led on from her heart condition (or treatment for it) rather than the other way round.

Hope this helps.


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