Detection of the artery of Adamkiewicz using multidetector row computed tomography in patients with spinal arteriovenous shunt disease

Pol J Radiol. 2020 Mar 19:85:e163-e168. doi: 10.5114/pjr.2020.94075. eCollection 2020.


Purpose: To plan a treatment strategy for a spinal arteriovenous shunt (SAVS), identifying the artery of Adamkiewicz (AKA) and its origin is indispensable. However, detecting the AKA is very difficult in patients with an SAVS when using computed tomography angiography (CTA) by the usual method to find the hairpin curved artery because dilated drainage veins nearly always coexist with the hairpin curved AKA. We designed a method to identify the AKA by focusing on the diameter and pathway of the anterior radiculomedullary arteries (RMAs).

Material and methods: Seven consecutive patients with an SAVS were surveyed. They underwent contrast-enhanced CTA and conventional angiography from January 2009 to December 2012. Two readers evaluated the CTA images and assumed that the AKA was the artery that ran through the anterior portion of the neural foramen and continued to pass on the ventral side of the spinal cord.

Results: Among the seven patients, nine AKAs were detected with conventional angiography. When using our method, seven AKAs and six AKAs were identified on CTA by Reader 1 and Reader 2, respectively. The average sensitivity was 72.3%, and the specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were sufficiently high (i.e. > 85%) for both readers. The kappa value for detecting the AKA was 0.98.

Conclusions: Detecting the origin of the AKA with CTA is challenging in patients with an SAVS. However, focusing on the diameter and pathway of the RMAs may allow successful identification.

Keywords: arteriovenous fistula; artery of Adamkiewicz; computed tomography; computed tomography angiography; multidetector computed tomography; spinal arteriovenous shunt.