Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original research
Contrast-enhanced time-resolved MRA for pre-angiographic evaluation of suspected spinal dural arterial venous fistulas
  1. Amit M Saindane1,
  2. Srikanth R Boddu1,
  3. Frank C Tong1,2,
  4. Seena Dehkharghani1,
  5. Jacques E Dion1,2
  1. 1Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurological Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amit M Saindane, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Emory University Hospital, BG22, 1364 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA; asainda{at}


Background Spinal digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is the gold standard for diagnosis of spinal dural arterial venous fistulas (SDAVFs), but can require extensive time, radiation exposure and contrast dose. We hypothesize that contrast-enhanced time-resolved MR angiography (CE-TR MRA) will have utility for the non-invasive diagnosis and pre-angiographic localization of SDAVFs.

Methods Eighteen patients underwent both CE-TR MRA and DSA for suspected SDAVFs, with DSA performed a median of 11 days (range 0–41) after MRA. CE-TR MRA was performed on a 1.5 T GE unit using Time Resolved Imaging of Contrast Kinetics (TRICKS). CE-TR MRA and DSA images were evaluated for the presence of SDAVFs and location of the feeding arterial supply, with DSA as the reference standard. DSA was also evaluated for the number of vessels catheterized, contrast volume and fluoroscopic and procedure times.

Results Eight of the 18 patients were positive for SDAVF on DSA. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for the 18 CE-TR MRAs were 88%, 90%, 88% and 90%, respectively. Localization of the SDAVF arterial supply on CE-TR MRA was within one vertebral level from DSA for 6/7 SDAVFs. Compared with patients with a SDAVF and feeding artery identified on CE-TR MRA, patients with negative or suboptimal CE-TR MRA had a significantly increased number of vessels catheterized (p=0.027) and larger contrast volumes (p=0.022).

Conclusions CE-TR MRA is a useful initial examination for the diagnosis and localization of SDAVFs, with a high concordance rate with DSA. When CE-TR MRA demonstrates a SDAVF, the number of catheterized vessels and contrast dose can be decreased during DSA.

  • Fistula
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Spine
  • Technique

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.