Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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 is likely to recommend:

  • MRI, which can identify a mass resulting from abnormally connected blood vessels.
  • Angiography, which is usually needed to determine the location and characteristics of the blood vessels involved in the AVM. 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.
Apr. 25, 2014

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.