gms | German Medical Science

64th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

26 - 29 May 2013, Düsseldorf

Microsurgical treatment of perimedullary spinal arteriovenous fistulas

Meeting Abstract

  • Markus F. Oertel - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum, RWTH, Aachen; Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie, Inselspital, Universität Bern, Bern, Schweiz
  • Veit Rohde - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum, RWTH, Aachen; Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen
  • Timo Krings - Klinik für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Neuroradiologie, Universitätsklinikum, RWTH, Aachen; Department of Medical Imaging, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • Michael Mull - Klinik für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Neuroradiologie, Universitätsklinikum, RWTH, Aachen
  • Joachim M. Gilsbach - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum, RWTH, Aachen
  • Franz Josef Hans - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum, RWTH, Aachen

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 64. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC). Düsseldorf, 26.-29.05.2013. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2013. DocDI.11.08

doi: 10.3205/13dgnc271, urn:nbn:de:0183-13dgnc2719

Published: May 21, 2013

© 2013 Oertel et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Perimedullary arteriovenous fistulas (PMAVF) are exceptional spinal vascular malformations and their best therapeutic management remains controversial. Here the authors present their experience with PMAVF to characterize the clinical, neuroimaging and treatment data of patients operated on PMAVF and to analyse both incidence of complications and resurgery in the microsurgical therapy of PMAVF.

Method: Fifteen patients (13 men, 2 women, mean age 51 years) with PMAVF identified by selective spinal angiography were microsurgically treated at our institution between 1992 and 2006. The presenting symptoms (duration 3 months to 5 years) were consistent with progressive myelopathy (13) or included isolated pain syndrome (2). Lumbar PMAVF location (6) was predominant followed by the sacral (5) and thoracic (4) site including 6 PMAVF of the filum terminale and 2 PMAVF associated with a glomerular AVM and dural arteriovenous fistula, respectively. Microsurgical PMAVF obliteration and postoperative angiography were routinely performed. All patients were available for follow-up evaluation within 6 months postoperatively.

Results: Surgery with complete (12) or almost complete (3) PMAVF occlusion resulted in neurological improvement (10) or stabilization (1), 4 patients deteriorated postoperatively. Whereas no complications occured, a second operation because of residual or recanalized PMAVF was indicated in one case each. Two associated dual spinal vascular malformations could be observed and subsequently obliterated.

Conclusions: Microsurgical occlusion of PMAVF appears to be a secure and adequate therapeutic option that prevents progressive neurological deterioration and results in good outcome in the majority of patients. Complications associated with surgery, recurrences and reoperations are infrequent. Therefore, in the authors experience microsurgery is the preferred therapy to treat PMAVF. Despite the rarity of PMAVF the possibility of the coincidence of associated second vascular malformations should be considered.