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Spinal Cord AVM

Last Updated: October 1, 2018

Spinal Cord Arteriovenous Malformation: Techniques for Resection

Spinal cord arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) or glomus AVMs are true intraparenchymal vascular lesions. They are characterized by a short compact nidus within the substance of the cord, which sometimes extends to the extramedullary compartment of the spinal canal.

Spinal AVMs are rarer than spinal dural fistulas and are a minority of all spinal vascular malformations. They are neuroanatomically analogous to intracranial AVMs, but differ in certain features. Importantly, their subtotal resection via the pial resection technique (see below) is well tolerated, unlike their intracranial counterparts.

Their occurrence in younger patients, their association with other vascular anomalies, and their uniform distribution along the spinal cord, in comparison with spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas, indicate a congenital origin of spinal AVMs as a result of inborn errors during vascular embryogenesis. 

Spinal AVMs are typically supplied by at least one radiculomedullary artery arising from the anterior or posterior spinal arteries that feeds the spinal cord and the AVM. T...