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Original research
Intraoperative spinal digital subtraction angiography: indications, technique, safety, and clinical impact
  1. Emanuele Orru’1,
  2. Danielle E Sorte1,
  3. Lydia Gregg1,
  4. Jean-Paul Wolinsky2,
  5. George I Jallo2,
  6. Ali Bydon2,
  7. Rafael J Tamargo2,
  8. Philippe Gailloud1
  1. 1Division of Interventional Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurological Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emanuele Orru’, Division of Interventional Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1800 Orleans St, Bloomberg 7218, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA; eorru1{at}


Background Cerebral intraoperative DSA (IODSA) is a well-described, routinely performed procedure that allows the effectiveness of cerebrovascular interventions to be evaluated in the operating room. Spinal IODSA, on the other hand, is infrequently obtained and has received less attention.

Objective To discuss the indications, technique, safety, and clinical impact of spinal IODSA.

Materials and methods Twenty-three patients underwent 45 thoracic and/or lumbar spinal IODSA between 2005 and 2016, either immediately before surgery for lesion localization or after the intervention to evaluate its effectiveness. Indications included 21 vascular malformations and 2 diaphragmatic crus compression syndromes. A long femoral arterial sheath with its hub positioned on the lateral surface of the thigh was used to allow catheter manipulations in the prone position.

Results All targeted intersegmental arteries (ISAs) were successfully catheterized. The course of surgery was changed in 6 instances (26.1%). In 4 cases of epidural or perimedullary arteriovenous fistulae (AVFs), a residual lesion required additional intervention. In one case of epidural AVF, initial IODSA revealed spontaneous resolution of the lesion, preventing unnecessary surgery. Finally, angiography performed in a case of diaphragmatic crus syndrome showed thrombosis of the ISA and non-visualization of the artery of Adamkiewicz. Recanalization was obtained by IA thrombolysis, with excellent clinical outcome. No intraprocedural or postprocedural complication was noted.

Conclusions Spinal IODSA is a safe technique that offers an immediate assessment of the effectiveness of a spinovascular surgical procedure, notably epidural and perimedullary AVFs. Spinal IODSA was technically successful in all cases, influencing the surgical strategy in 6 of 23 patients, including one patient who benefited from intraoperative endovascular therapy.

  • Spinal cord
  • Vascular Malformation
  • Angiography
  • Fistula
  • Arteriovenous Malformation

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