Department of  Neurosurgery
Menu  -
Call Us: (314) 362-3636

Spinal Vascular Disorders

Washington University neurosurgeons provide comprehensive treatment for all vascular disorders of the spine and spinal cord. They work together with neurointerventional radiologists to provide both open surgical treatment and endovascular embolization.

Conditions & Treatments

Spinal vascular malformations are abnormalities of blood vessels (arteries and veins) in or adjacent to the spinal cord. These malformations may consist of abnormal connections between arteries and veins (arteriovenous fistulas) or collections of abnormal vessels (arteriovenous malformations). The lesions may cause reversible or permanent dysfunction, affecting strength and/or sensation. They also can spontaneously cause immediate life-threatening symptoms related to bleeding or may cause slow deterioration over long periods of time.

Vascular disorders of the spinal cord are often quite difficult to diagnose with conventional MRI, and typically require angiography (specialized imaging of the blood vessels). While rare, spinal neurosurgeons have extensive experience in treating this condition. A multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, and neuroradiologists at Washington University works together to diagnose and manage these disorders. 

Conditions Treated:

  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Arteriovenous fistula (AVF)
  • Cavernous angiomas
  • Spinal aneurysms


A Vascular Conference is held on Friday morning of each week. Neurosurgeons and interventional radiologists review cases to determine an optimal treatment plan. Physicians wishing to submit cases for review should contact one of spine nurse coordinators at (314) 747-8882.