Arteriovenous malformations of the filum terminale: clinical characteristics, angioarchitecture, and management of a rare spinal vascular pathology.

Journal: Neurosurgical Focus
Treatment Used: Resection
Number of Patients: 0
MediFind Summary

Summary: This study described treatment outcomes for patients with arteriovenous malformations of the filum terminale (FT AVMs).

Conclusion: Resection can be a good treatment for patients with arteriovenous malformations of the filum terminale .


Objective: The goal of this study was to describe clinical and neuroradiological features of arteriovenous malformations of the filum terminale (FT AVMs) and to present the authors' diagnostic and therapeutic management in this rare disease.

Methods: The presented cases were retrieved from a retrospectively collected database of all spinal vascular malformations treated between June 1992 and December 2021 at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) University Hospital Aachen. Pretreatment and follow-up clinical and neuroradiological data were analyzed for this study.

Results: Data in 15 patients with FT AVM with a mean age of 60 years were included, with an overall incidence of FT AVM of 19% among all spinal AVMs in our cohort. Twelve of 15 (80%) patients were men. Nonspecific but typical clinical and MR findings of thoracolumbar congestive myelopathy were found in all patients. Spinal MR angiography, performed in 10 patients, identified in all cases the arterialized FT vein as well as a lumbar/lumbosacral location of an AV shunt. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) showed an arterial supply solely via the FT artery in 12/15 (80%) patients and via an additional feeder from the lumbosacral region in the other 3/15 (20%) patients. All patients were treated surgically. During 1-year follow-up, 2 patients presented with recurrent FT AVM due to further arterial supply from the lumbosacral region, and were treated surgically. Neurological status was improved in all patients within the 1-year follow-up, with marginal further changes during long-term follow-up.

Conclusions: Congestive myelopathy is the major pathological mechanism of symptoms in these patients, with no evidence for intradural bleeding. Missing the presence of possible multiple arterial supply of FT AVM during DSA may result in misdiagnosis and/or insufficient treatment. Due to the frequently prolonged course of FT artery, resection of the FT AVM may be a favorable treatment modality in comparison with endovascular treatment. Follow-up examinations are obligatory within the first 3 years after treatment, and further MR angiography and DSA examinations are indicated if congestive myelopathy persists.

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