Clinical Characteristics of Lumbosacral Spinal Dural Arteriovenous Fistula (DAVF)–Comparison with Thoracic DAVF

Toshiki Endo, Takumi Kajitani, Tomoo Inoue, Kenichi Sato, Kuniyasu Niizuma, Hidenori Endo, Yasushi Matsumoto, Teiji Tominaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) occurs at any spinal level, but the clinical characteristics of lumbosacral DAVF have not been well documented. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical characteristics of lumbosacral DAVF and compare these features with those in thoracic DAVF. Methods: Twenty-five consecutive patients with 16 thoracic and 9 lumbosacral DAVFs were included (mean age, 63.9 years; 20 men). All patients presented with progressive myelopathy. Preoperative and postoperative neurologic deficits were compared between thoracic and lumbosacral DAVF groups. Using magnetic resonance imaging, the extent of T2 high-intensity areas and signal flow voids were documented. Follow-up after surgical interventions ranged from 6 to 96 months (mean, 38.1 months). Results: Preoperatively, patients suffering lumbosacral DAVF tended to be more severely disabled compared with thoracic DAVF patients. Lumbosacral DAVF patients exhibited diminished patellar (P = 0.04) and Achilles tendon reflexes (P < 0.01), while most thoracic DAVF patients exhibited hyperreflexia. In magnetic resonance imaging, signal flow voids around the spinal cord were evident in only 4 of 9 lumbosacral DAVF patients (P = 0.012). Rather, a serpentine signal flow void of the filum terminale was a hallmark of lumbosacral DAVFs to distinguish them from thoracic DAVFs. In the lumbosacral DAVF group, postoperative improvements were significantly better in micturition function (P = 0.02). Conclusions: In lumbosacral DAVF, postoperative micturition function recovery was superior to thoracic DAVF. Intradural lumbar signal flow void is indicative of lumbosacral DAVF. For appropriate management, it is important to recognize these differences between lumbosacral and thoracic DAVF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e383-e388
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb


  • Dural arteriovenous fistula
  • Filum terminale vein
  • Lumbar spine
  • Myelopathy


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