Journal of Neurology

, Volume 243, Issue 1, pp 9–12 | Cite as

Spinal arteriovenous malformations: Clinical and neurophysiological findings

  • D. Linden
  • P. Berlit
Original Communication


Eighteen patients with dural arteriovenous fistulas or intradural arteriovenous malformations underwent clinical and neurophysiological examination. Bladder disturbances, pain, sensory abnormalities and involvement of both upper and lower motor neurons were commonly observed. Abnormal findings were obtained both in electromyography (11/18) and somatosensory evoked potentials (16/18). The motor evoked potentials were abnormal in all but one patient and showed a prolonged central (n = 14) or peripheral motor conduction time (n = 6). In three cases both values were prolonged. The results of nerve conduction studies in the patients with prolonged peripheral motor conduction times were normal. These neurophysiological findings may indicate root involvement in some patients, probably due to venous congestion and consequent hypoxia, as there were no signs of root compression on neuroradiological evaluation in any of these six patients. Motor evoked potentials may provide an additional clue to the diagnosis, although patients with spinal stenosis or motor neuron disease may present with similar findings.

Key words

Arteriovenous malformations Spinal cord Motor evoked potentials Somatosensory evoked potentials Electromyography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Linden
    • 1
  • P. Berlit
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology and Clinical NeurophysiologyAlfried Krupp HospitalEssenGermany

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