Hi everyone. I'm hoping that you can help me out. The week before last I went to the Dr. because I had the flu and it wasn't getting better. I had a headache for about 4 or 5 days which wasn't getting better. I'm not prone to headaches and I attributed this to the flu. Because I have family members with a history of stroke the doctor sent me to get an MRI. I assumed he was looking for a blood clot or something. I ended up having an MRI followed up by and MRI with contrast. The results are posted below. I have an appt. with the neurosurgeon next week, but so far all I have are the results below. A doctor has not spoken to me about the results. I tried talking to my regular doctor, but he said just wait for the neurosurgeon. I, of course, have googled a lot since receiving the results, but I'm having a hard time making sense of the information out there and how that relates back to my specific case. If you could offer any advice, help make sense of the below test etc. I would really appreciate it. Also maybe any questions that I should make sure to ask the neurosurgeon when I meet with him next week. I realize this is a lot to ask and I really appreciate any help you can provide. I feel like I have a decent beginners understanding of what an AVM is, but my biggest worry at the moment is that it's in my brain stem and the likelihood of how this will play out. I'm also concerned that I don't have a good grasp on what exactly I'm up against. Is this something that isn't a HUGE deal? That maybe I'll get some treatment, but I'll probably be fine? Or is this something that is a very serious case and I need to come to grips that the chances of me having severe neurological issues or even death is a high probability? I'm 34 years old. I have no other health issues. I understand that every case is different and there is no way anybody can really tell me the course this is going to take. I also understand that all AVM's are dangerous and can be life altering so I don't mean to make light of it by saying it's possible that it's not a huge deal. I didn't know how else to word it honestly. I'm just trying to get a feel for how worried I should be since I've been a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts since receiving the results. Again, thank you so much.
The 1 cm x 1.2 cm mass in the left side of the pons is again noted and demonstrates enhancement with contrast. This most likely is an occult AVM or vascular tumor. No significant mass effect is noted. The fourth ventricle is normal in position. No other area of enhancement is seen. The mastoid air cells are clear. There is mild deviation of the nasal septum to the right side. The craniocervical junction is normal. Old hemorrhage or calcification is noted extending to the left anterior fourth ventricle. No other lesions are seen. The ventricular system is normal in size with no mass or midline shift. IMPRESSION: Mildly enhancing left pontine mass, most likely small arteriovenous malformation/vascular tumor with enhancement. No other lesions identified.