Spinal artery aneurysms: clinical presentation, radiological findings and outcome

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Abstract

Background and purpose

Spinal arterial aneurysms are a rare cause of spinal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). We performed a retrospective review of spinal arterial aneurysms not associated with spinal arteriovenus shunts from three institutions in order to better understand the clinical and imaging characteristics of these lesions.

Materials and methods

We performed a retrospective review of spinal arterial aneurysms managed at three North American institutions. For each patient, the following information was collected: demographic data, clinical presentation, comorbidities, imaging findings, and neurological status at the last follow-up. Treatment strategies and outcomes were reported.

Results

11 patients were included; 7 were women and median age was 60 years. The most common presentation was sudden back pain (81.8%). We found 3 aneurysms on the radiculomedullary artery and 8 along the radiculopial arteries. Of the 3 aneurysms on the radiculomedullary artery, 1 was treated conservatively, 1 was treated with coiling of the aneurysm and sacrifice of the radiculomedullary artery, and 1 was treated with surgical trapping. The 8 aneurysms on the radiculopial artery were treated endovascularly in 4 cases, surgically in 1 case, and conservatively in 3 cases. One surgically treated patient had a spinal subdural hematoma. There were no other complications. Mean clinical follow-up time was 20 months, and 87.5% of patients were functionally independent.

Conclusions

Spinal arterial aneurysms are lesions which commonly present with sudden back pain and spinal SAH. Conservative, surgical, and endovascular treatment options are safe and effective. Long term outcomes in these patients are generally good.

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