Diagnosis

Spinal AVM consultation at Mayo Clinic Spinal AVM consultation at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic’s AVM care team has the experience and knowledge to make accurate diagnoses and recommend the best treatment plan for you.

Spinal arteriovenous malformations can be difficult to diagnose because signs and symptoms are similar to those of other spinal conditions, such as spinal dural arteriovenous fistula, spinal stenosis, multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord tumor.

Your doctor will likely recommend tests to help rule out other causes of your symptoms, including:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your spinal cord. A spinal MRI can identify a mass resulting from abnormally connected blood vessels associated with AVM.
  • Angiography, which is usually needed to determine the location and characteristics of the blood vessels involved in the AVM.

    In an angiography, a thin tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery in your groin and guided to your spinal cord. Dye is injected into blood vessels in your spinal cord to make them visible under X-ray imaging.

June 13, 2017
References
  1. Rubin MN, et al. Vascular diseases of the spinal cord. Neurologic Clinics. 2013;31:153.
  2. Eisen A. Disorders affecting the spinal cord. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 4, 2017.
  3. AskMayoExpert. Cerebral vascular malformations. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  4. Arteriovenous malformations and other vascular lesions of the central nervous system fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://catalog.ninds.nih.gov/ninds/product/Arteriovenous-Malformations-and-Other-Vascular-Lesions-of-the-Central-Nervous-System/15-4854. Accessed Jan. 6, 2017.
  5. Longo DL, et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed March 27, 2017.
  6. Chaudhary N, et al. Endovascular treatment of adult spinal arteriovenous lesions. Neuroimaging Clinics of North America. 2013;23:729.
  7. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 5, 2017.
  8. Lanzino G, et al. Onyx embolization of extradural spinal arteriovenous malformations with intradural venous drainage. Neurosurgery. 2012;70:329.
  9. Demaerschalk BM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. Jan. 30, 2017.
  10. Zimmerman, RS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. March 27, 2017.