Introduction: Although spinal arteriovenous fistula (AVF) has been reported widely, AVF at the cauda equina is quite rare. We described a case of AVF at the cauda equina that was fed by the distal radicular artery (DRA). Case presentation: A 50-year-old woman presented with sudden weakness of the lower extremities. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a lesion with a highly intense signal at the conus medullaris, which was surrounded by several low-intensity signals (flow voids). Digital subtraction angiography revealed AVF at the cauda equina and that it was fed by the DRA, which was directly fed by the L3 segmental artery. We performed surgical resection of the AVF while monitoring motor-evoked potentials. The patient’s postoperative course was uneventful, and her neurological symptoms gradually resolved. MRI 2 years after surgery showed the disappearance of both intramedullary edema and the flow voids. Discussion: For the AVF, located at the cauda equina and fed by the DRA in this case, surgical resection or endovascular embolization could have been selected. We performed open surgery to achieve complete obliteration of the AVF, which led to postoperative functional recovery without any adverse events. However, only a limited number of AVFs at the level of the cauda equina have been reported, and treatment standards have not been established. Further studies of AVFs at the cauda equina are necessary to clarify the epidemiological characteristics and clinical outcomes with an appropriate sample size.
ASJC Scopus subject areas