Indexed on: 16 May '12Published on: 16 May '12Published in: Der Radiologe
Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas are rare spinal vascular malformations which can cause progressive paraparesis and paraplegia if not treated. As symptoms are unspecific diagnosis is often delayed and clinical outcome is dependent on early therapy. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the first choice imaging procedure, selective spinal digital subtraction angiography is necessary to analyze the angioarchitecture and to plan the treatment. This article provides an overview on the epidemiology, etiology, clinical aspects and imaging features as well as therapeutic aspects of spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas. Knowledge of spinal vascular anatomy is the basis for understanding spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas.