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Original research
Four-dimensional digital subtraction angiography for exploration of spinal cord vascular malformations: preliminary experience


Background The precise understanding of the angioarchitecture of spinal vascular malformations (SVMs) is often difficult to reach with conventional digital subtraction angiography (DSA). The purpose of our study was to evaluate the potential of four-dimensional DSA (4D-DSA) (Siemens Healthcare) in the exploration of SVMs.

Methods We retrospectively studied all patients who underwent spinal DSA, including 4D-DSA acquisition, from July 2018 to June 2019 at a single institution. All spinal DSA acquisitions were performed under general anesthesia. 4D-DSA acquisitions were acquired with the protocol '12 s DSA Dyna4D Neuro'. 12 mL of iodixanol 320 mg iodine/mL were injected via a 5 F catheter (1 mL/s during the 12 s 4D-DSA acquisition). Inter-rater (three independent reviewers) and intermodality agreements were assessed.

Results Nine consecutive patients (six men, three women, mean age 55.3±19.8 years) with 10 SVMs (spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas n=3, spinal epidural arteriovenous fistulas n=2, spinal pial arteriovenous fistulas n=2, and spinal arteriovenous malformations n=2; one patient had two synchronous pial fistulas) had spinal DSA, including 4D-DSA acquisition. Inter-rater agreement was good and moderate for the venous drainage pattern and the SVM subtype, respectively. In 9 of 10 cases, the quality of the acquisition was graded as good. Satisfactory concordance between 4D-DSA and the selective microcatheterization was observed in 90% of cases for the location of the shunt point.

Conclusion 4D-DSA acquisition may be helpful for a better understanding of the angioarchitecture of SVMs. Larger series are warranted to confirm these preliminary results.

  • Angiography
  • Fistula
  • Spinal cord

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