Spinal Angiography

Spinal angiography allows visualization of blood vessels in and around the spine, thereby allowing detection of abnormalities such as spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), spinal arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and tumors.

Typically a catheter is inserted into a large artery (such as the femoral, brachial, or radial artery) and threaded through the circulatory system to the intercostal or lumbar segmental arteries and/or the large arteries in the neck and pelvis, where a contrast agent (dye) is injected. A series of radiographs (x-rays) are taken as the contrast agent spreads through the spine’s arterial and venous systems.

For some applications—in particular when dynamic information is useful or necessary, spinal angiography yields better diagnostic information than other, less invasive methods, such as computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

In addition, spinal angiography allows certain treatments to be performed immediately, based on its findings. If, for example, the images reveal a spinal AVF, liquid embolic materials, such as n-BCA or Onyx, may be introduced through the catheter already in place and maneuvered to site of the fistula.

Spinal Angiography

 

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