Bilateral carotid and vertebral rete mirabile presenting with a prominent anterior spinal artery mimicking a spinal dural AV fistula at MRI

Korean J Radiol. 2011 Nov-Dec;12(6):740-4. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2011.12.6.740. Epub 2011 Sep 27.


Bilateral carotid and vertebral rete mirabile (CVRM) is a very rare condition. We report a new case of CVRM initially detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine. MRI demonstrated tortuous vascular signal voids limited to the anterior cerebrospinal fluid space mimicking spinal dural arteriovenous fistula. A diagnosis of CVRM was confirmed on the basis of angiographic findings of rete formation associated with bilateral aplasia of the cavernous internal carotid and vertebral arteries without abnormal arteriovenous connection.

Keywords: Carotid and vertebral rete mirabile; MRI.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carotid Arteries / abnormalities*
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vertebral Artery / abnormalities*
  • Vertebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebral Artery / pathology