Intradural radicular arteriovenous malformation (AVM) of the cauda equina is a rare entity of spinal AVMs. Because of the specific arterial supply of the conus medullaris and cauda equina, AVMs in this area sometimes present with confusing radiological features.
The authors reported a rare case of intradural radicular AVM arising from the lumbar posterior root. The patient presented with urinary symptoms with multiple flow void around the conus medullaris, as shown on magnetic resonance imaging. Digital subtraction angiography demonstrated arteriovenous shunt at the left side of the conus medullaris fed by the anterior spinal artery via anastomotic channel to the posterior spinal artery and rich perimedullary drainers. There was another arteriovenous shunt at the L3 level from the left L4 radicular artery. Preoperative diagnosis was perimedullary AVM with radicular arteriovenous fistula. Direct surgery with indocyanine green angiography revealed that the actual arteriovenous shunt was located at the left L4 posterior root. The AVM was successfully treated by coagulation of feeding branches.
Unilateral arteriovenous shunt fed by either posterior or anterior spinal artery at the conus medullaris may include AVM of the cauda equina despite abundant perimedullary venous drainage. Careful pre- and intraoperative diagnostic imaging is necessary for appropriate treatment.