It is important to identify the artery of Adamkiewicz in patients with thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm to aid in surgical planning and to prevent postoperative paraplegia or paraparesis. However, the artery of Adamkiewicz is difficult to visualize and impossible or very dangerous to evaluate with selective intercostal or lumbar angiography. The feasibility, advantages, and limitations of magnetic resonance (MR) angiography and computed tomographic (CT) angiography in the preoperative assessment of the artery of Adamkiewicz were evaluated in 30 patients with thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm. Initial results indicate that MR angiography and CT angiography are safe, effective, noninvasive procedures that allow clear visualization of the artery of Adamkiewicz by providing detailed depiction of the vascular anatomy from the aorta to the anterior spinal artery. However, further studies will be needed to assess the efficacy of these modalities in decreasing surgical risk.
Copyright RSNA, 2003