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Endovascular management of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas in 78 patients.

Neuroradiology 2013 Februrary
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was the evaluation of the safety and efficiency of the endovascular treatment of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs).

METHODS: Between May 1992 and August 2012, 78 patients (59 men) with an angiographically proven SDAVF with pial venous drainage were treated by endovascular embolization (n = 61) and/or surgery (n = 31) at three German hospitals by a single team of physicians and according to a uniform therapeutic concept.

RESULTS: Endovascular treatment resulted in a complete occlusion of the fistula in 47 cases (77 %). After failed embolization with residual shunt, 14 DAVFs were surgically cured (23 % failure rate). We had one permanent and two minor complications after endovascular therapy. Within a postoperative period of 2 weeks, 73.6 % of patients improved in gait disability, 51.1 % in micturition function, and 70.5 % in paresthesia of the lower extremities. Long-term follow-up data showed further improvement of clinical symptoms confirmed by normalization or resolution of spinal changes on MRI.

CONCLUSIONS: An interdisciplinary approach to the management of SDAVFs is mandatory. Patients without a common origin of arteries supplying the spinal cord and the dural fistula, and without a stenosis or occlusion of the concerning segmental artery are potential candidates for endovascular treatment (diluted n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate). Only occlusion of the "nidus" and the proximal segment of the draining vein can lead to clinical improvement.

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