What was originally believed to be a seizure caused by possible dehydration could be a whole lot more serious of an issue for Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson.
The Eagles lineman had a four-minute seizure on the practice field Wednesday and was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Doctors there tested Patterson to try and figure out what caused him to collapse, Eagles Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder said.
“They eliminated a lot of things that did not cause the seizure including dehydration, a head injury, any kind of neck trauma,” Burkholder told reporters Thursday morning. “What they did determine through some of the testing is that Mike has a congenital tangle of blood vessels right outside his brain that is called Arteriovenous malformation or what we refer to as AVM.“
“We’re pretty sure that’s that what caused the seizure. We’re pretty sure it wasn’t football related.”
AVM normally shows up in younger people, Burkholder said.
“I’m not going to stand up here and speculate for you guys about what the treatment plan is going to be because we don’t know -- there is still testing that needs to go on,” Burkholder said.
The Eagles medical team headed by team internist Dr. Gary Dorshimer along with Patterson, his family and other doctors are trying to figure out the next move for the 6-foot-1, 300-pounder.
ESPN football insider Sal Paolantonio reported that there are several treatment options including possible surgery or radiation.
No one wants to jump to conclusions especially when it comes to brain surgery but this news shouldn't be taken lightly.
Patterson’s agent JR Rickert told NBC Philadelphia’s John Clark that his client got mixed diagnoses from doctors. Rickert put out a release debunking surgery claims:
"Media reports are not accurate. Mike has not yet decided on surgery. He has not received an official diagnosis of a brain AVR and is continuing to be evaluated by multiple doctors. Once we know the course of treatment and timetable for recovery, Mike and his wife Bianca will decide how to (precede)."
The Mayo Clinic describes an AVM as an "abnormal connection between arteries and veins."
An AVM is typically congenital, meaning it dates to birth. An AVM can develop anywhere in your body but occurs most often in the brain or spine. A brain AVM, which appears as a tangle of abnormal arteries and veins, can occur in any part of your brain. The cause isn't clear.
You may not know you have a brain AVM until you experience symptoms, such as headaches or a seizure. In serious cases, the blood vessels rupture, causing bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage).
The good news for Patterson is that once an AVM is diagnosed it's often treated successfully, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, coach Andy Reid, Burkholder and other members of the Eagles brass spent time with Patterson Wednesday night, Burkholder said.
At some point Patterson is expected to head home to New Jersey and will seek further treatment in the city, according to Burkholder.