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Spinal vascular malformation

Summary

Spinal vascular malformation

Each spinal vascular malformation is a unique lesion; therefore, an individualised treatment methodology must be tailored to each patient. The most common type of spinal AVF forms in the lining around the spinal cord (Spinal dural AVF or sDAVF). Most of these develop in adults and we suspect are caused as a result of blood clot forming in normal veins within the spinal cord. In other words we suspect these are acquired during life. Other, rarer types of SVM are probably present from before birth or develop in early childhood under the influence of a gene that is not working normally. Most will be discovered on an MR scan of the spine; this is then followed up with a spinal angiogram. Generally, SVMs may be treated by one of 3 methods : Microsurgery, Endovascular embolisation or Stereotactic Radiosurgery or, sometimes, by a combination of treatments. A specialist team will decide on the most effective treatment suitable for the patient’s particular vascular malformation.

There are occasions when no treatment at all is necessary or appropriate and, in that case, your specialist will discuss with you why this is the case.

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