Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are the most common type of spinal arteriovenous malformation and are an important, underdiagnosed cause of progressive myelopathy and morbidity in patients with spine disorders. Successful microsurgical management of these lesions is dependent on the surgeon's ability to identify vessels of the fistula and to confirm its successful obliteration postintervention. Indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescent angiography is an emerging tool for delineating intraoperative vascular anatomy, and it has significant potential utility in the treatment of vascular disease in the spine.
The authors present the case of a 76-year-old man with progressive and debilitating bilateral lower-extremity weakness and numbness on exertion, in whom a left T-8 spinal DAVF was diagnosed based on results of conventional spinal angiography. Unfavorable anatomy based on angiographic findings precluded endovascular embolization of the fistula, and the patient subsequently underwent T7–9 bilateral laminectomies for microsurgical clip occlusion. Intraoperative ICG fluorescent angiography was used before clip placement to identify the arterialized veins of the fistula, and after clip placement to confirm obliteration of the fistulous connection and restoration of normal blood flow.
Intraoperative ICG angiography serves an important role in the microsurgical treatment of DAVF. It can be used to map the anatomy of the fistula in real time during surgery and to verify fistula obliteration rapidly after clip placement. This report adds to the growing body of literature demonstrating the importance of ICG angiography in vascular neurosurgery of the spine.