Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are the spinal vascular malformations that are encountered most often, and they are usually encountered in the lower thoracic region. Cervical spine DAVFs are exceedingly rare and may be difficult to differentiate from radicular arteriovenous malformations, epidural arteriovenous shunts, or perimedullary AVFs. Typical angiographic findings in spinal DAVFs include a slow-flow shunt with converging feeding vessels from radiculomeningeal arteries draining via a radicular vein centripetally into perimedullary veins. The MR imaging findings such as spinal cord edema and perimedullary dilated vessels may be used to direct the spinal angiography that is needed to localize and classify the shunt. When the shunt is distant from the pathological imaging findings, the diagnosis may be difficult to establish, especially when the shunt is present at an atypical location such as the cervical spine. The authors present the case of a 51-year-old man presenting with lower thoracic and conus medullaris congestive edema due to a cervical spine DAVF that was located at the C-5 level. Transarterial embolization with N-butyl cyanoacrylate closed the proximal vein and completely obliterated the fistula. Clinical and imaging follow-up confirmed occlusion of the fistula, with improvement in clinical symptoms.
Sasikhan Geibprasert, Sirintara Pongpech, Pakorn Jiarakongmun and Timo Krings
Ekachat Chanthanaphak, Sirintara Pongpech, Pakorn Jiarakongmun, Chai Kobkitsuksakul, Cuong Tran Chi and Karel G. TerBrugge
The authors describe the clinical presentation, imaging features, and management of patients presenting with filum terminale arteriovenous fistulas (FTAVFs) and the role of transarterial treatment in their management.
The authors retrospectively reviewed data obtained in 10 patients with FTAVFs diagnosed between January 1990 and December 2011.
Most patients (70%) were male, and the age of the population ranged from 31 to 72 years (mean 58.2 years). Clinical presentation was progressive paraparesis and sensory loss in the lower extremities in 9 cases, back pain in 7, radicular pain in 3, bowel/bladder disturbance in 5, and impotence in 1. The duration of symptoms varied between 2 and 24 months. Initial MRI studies showed intramedullary increased T2 signal, swollen cord, and dilated perimedullary veins in all patients. One patient had syringomyelia, presumably caused by venous hypertension transmitted by the perimedullary venous system. Embolization was attempted in 7 patients and was curative in 6 patients. Surgery was performed in the other 4 patients in whom embolization was unsuccessful or deemed not feasible. There was no treatment-related complication in either group. Symptoms, venous congestion in the cord, and syringomyelia improved on follow-up in all patients.
Embolization should be considered the treatment of choice for FTAVFs and can effectively treat the majority of patients presenting with an FTAVF. In a smaller group of patients in whom the angioarchitecture is unfavorable, open surgery is recommended.
Sasikhan Geibprasert, Vitor Pereira, Timo Krings, Pakorn Jiarakongmun, Pierre Lasjaunias and Sirintara Pongpech
The goal in this study was to present possible pathological mechanisms, clinical and imaging findings, and to describe the management and outcome in patients with hydrocephalus due to unruptured pial brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
Medical records and imaging findings in 8 consecutive patients with hydrocephalus caused by AVMs and treated between June 2000 and September 2007 were retrospectively reviewed to determine clinical symptoms, AVM location, venous drainage, level/cause of obstruction, and degree of hydrocephalus. Management of hydrocephalus, AVM treatment, complications, and follow-up results were evaluated.
Headaches were the most common clinical symptom (7 of 8 patients). Deep venous drainage was identified in all patients. Mechanical obstruction by the draining vein or the AVM nidus was seen in 6 patients, in whom obstruction occurred at the interventricular foramen (2 patients) or the aqueduct (4 patients). Hydrodynamic disorders following venous outflow obstruction and venous congestion of the posterior fossa led to hydrocephalus in the remaining 2 patients. Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts were placed in 6 of 8 patients with a moderate to severe degree of hydrocephalus. Regression of hydrocephalus was noted in 4 patients, whereas in 2 the imaging findings were stable, 1 of whom had decreased hydrocephalus only after AVM size reduction. In 2 patients with mild hydrocephalus who were not treated with shunt insertion, 1 improved and 1 was clinically stable after AVM treatment.
The most common cause of hydrocephalus in unruptured brain AVMs is mechanical obstruction by the draining vein if it is located in a strategic position. Management should be aimed at treatment of the AVM; however, VP shunts may be necessary in acute and severe cases of hydrocephalus.