Spontaneous occlusion of a spinal arteriovenous malformation: is treatment always necessary?

Case report

Pier Paolo Panciani M.D.1, Marco Fontanella M.D., Ph.D.1, Emanuela Crobeddu M.D.1, Bawarjan Schatlo M.D.2, Mauro Bergui M.D., Ph.D.3, and Alessandro Ducati M.D., Ph.D.1
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  • 1 Divisions of Neurosurgery and
  • | 3 Neuroradiology, Department of Neuroscience, University of Torino, Italy; and
  • | 2 Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Geneva, Switzerland
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Knowledge of spinal cord arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) has recently been improved by studies on pathophysiology, neuroimaging, and genetic data. Nevertheless, the natural history of these lesions remains poorly understood.

The authors present the case of an angiographic regression of a nidal-type spinal AVM at T-12 to L-1 in a 46-year-old woman with no risk factors. The natural course of untreated lesions is reviewed and discussed. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that reports an angiographically proven complete spontaneous occlusion of a spinal AVM.

Abbreviations used in this paper:

AVM = arteriovenous malformation; MMP = matrix metalloproteinase.

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