Incidental occlusion of anterior spinal artery due to Onyx reflux in embolization of spinal type II arteriovenous malformation

Joohyun Kim, Jang Bo Lee, Tai Hyoung Cho, Junseok W. Hur

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Onyx embolization is one of the standard treatments for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and is a promising method for spinal AVMs as well. Its advantages have been emphasized, and few complications have been reported with Onyx embolization in spinal AVMs. Here, we report an incidental anterior spinal artery (ASA) occlusion due to Onyx reflux during embolization of a spinal type II AVM. Methods: A 15-year-old boy presented with weakness in both upper and lower extremities. Magnetic resonance imaging and spinal angiogram revealed a spinal type II AVM with two feeders including the right vertebral artery (VA) and the right deep cervical artery. Results: Onyx embolization was performed gradually from the VA to the deep cervical artery and an unexpected Onyx reflux to the ASA was observed during the latter stage deep cervical artery embolization. Post-operative quadriplegia and low cranial nerves (CN) dysfunction were observed. Rehabilitation treatment was performed and the patient showed marked improvement of neurologic deterioration at 1-year follow-up. Conclusions: Onyx is an effective treatment choice for spinal AVMs. However, due to the small vasculature of the spine compared to the brain, the nidus is rapidly packed with a small amount of Onyx, which allows Onyx reflux to unexpected vessels. Extreme caution is required and dual-lumen balloon catheter could be considered for Onyx embolization in spinal AVMs treatment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-5
    Number of pages5
    JournalEuropean Spine Journal
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016 Sept 26


    • Anterior spinal artery
    • Arteriovenous malformation
    • Embolization
    • Onyx
    • Reflux

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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