Spinal arteriovenous malformation: MR imaging

Radiology. 1988 Oct;169(1):109-15. doi: 10.1148/radiology.169.1.3420244.


Ten patients with spinal arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) were examined with high-field-strength (1.5-T) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and a surface coil (eight patients) or head coil (two patients). Four AVMs were intramedullary, and six were extramedullary. There was one case of Foix-Alajouanine disease (subacute necrotizing myelitis; thrombosed AVM). Three important pathologic findings--myelomalacia, total thrombosis, and wall thickening of the draining vein--were clearly demonstrated at MR imaging and confirmed at autopsy. A flow-sensitive sequence was valuable in the depiction of one intramedullary AVM as hyperintense, the postoperative evaluation of AVM, and the differentiation of nidus from old intramedullary hematoma. In other AVMs, cord edema, periradicular hematoma, and reversible changes of cord scalloping after surgery were demonstrated. MR imaging demonstrated various pathologic changes of the spinal cord that could not be detected with any other imaging method.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Myelitis / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord / blood supply*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis