A patient presenting with progressive paraparesis was found to have a spinal arteriovenous fistula at the T3-4 vertebral level. The lesion consisted of a direct communication of the anterior spinal artery with a very distended venous varix that drained mostly superiorly to the posterior fossa and simulated a posterior fossa arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on vertebral angiography. The patient was treated by surgical ligation of the fistula through an naterior transthoracic approach. He deteriorated abruptly on the 4th postoperative day, probably because of retrograde thrombosis of the enlarged spinal artery. Over the next few months, he improved to the point of being able to walk with crutches. He has also regained sphincter control. The different types of spinal AVM's are reviewed. Our case does not fit into any of these groups. A new category, Type IV, is proposed to designate direct arteriovenous fistulas involving the intrinsic arterial supply of the spinal cord.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology