Cervical spinal epidural arteriovenous fistula with coexisting spinal anterior spinal artery aneurysm presenting as subarachnoid hemorrhage--case report

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. Nov-Dec 2014;23(10):e461-e465. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2014.07.012. Epub 2014 Oct 3.


Hemorrhagic presentation of spinal epidural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) is rare in patients with cervical spinal vascular lesions. The present report describes a patient with cervical spine epidural AVFs associated with anterior spinal artery aneurysm at the same vertebral level presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage. A 54-year-old man presented with sudden onset of headache. Computed tomography of the head showed subarachnoid hemorrhage. Diagnostic angiography revealed an epidural AVF located at the C1-2 level that was fed mainly by the dorsal somatic branches of the segmental arteries from the radicular artery and anterior spinal artery. This AVF drained only into the epidural veins without perimedullary venous reflux. Further, there was a 4-mm anterior spinal artery aneurysm in the vicinity of the fistula that was thought to be the cause of the hemorrhage. Endovascular transarterial fistulas embolization from the right radicular artery was performed to eliminate the AVF and to reduce hemodynamic stress on the aneurysm. No new symptoms developed after the treatment and discharged without neurological deficits. The aneurysm was noted to be reduced in size after the treatment and totally disappeared by 1 year later, according to follow-up angiography. Anterior spinal artery aneurysm from a separate vascular distribution may coexist with spinal epidural AVFs. In the setting of spinal subarachnoid hemorrhage, comprehensive imaging is indicated to rule out such lesions.

Keywords: Aneurysm; anterior spinal artery; epidural arteriovenous fistula; subarachnoid hemorrhage; transarterial embolization.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm / complications*
  • Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Aneurysm / physiopathology
  • Arteries
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / complications*
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / therapy
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods
  • Cervical Vertebrae
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Epidural Space
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Spine / blood supply*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome