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      Intracranial Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas: Clinical Characteristics and Management Based on Location and Hemodynamics


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          A dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) generally refers to a vascular malformation of the wall of a major venous sinus. These lesions have diverse symptoms according to the location and venous drainage, and require multidisciplinary treatment. We report on our experience and analyze the treatment outcome of intracranial DAVFs for a nine-year period.


          Between January 2000 and December 2008, 95 patients with intracranial DAVFs were enrolled in this study. A retrospective review of clinical records and imaging studies of all patients was conducted. Endovascular embolization, surgical interruption, gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKS), or combinations of these treatments were performed based on clinical symptoms, lesion location, and venous drainage pattern.


          Borden type I, II, and III were 34, 48, and 13 patients, respectively. Aggressive presentation was reported in 6% of Borden type I, 31% of Borden type II, and 77% of Borden type III DAVFs, respectively, and DAVFs involving transverse, sigmoid, and superior sagittal sinus. Overall, the rate of complete obliteration was 68%. The complete occlusion rates with a combination treatment of endovascular embolization and surgery, surgery alone, and endovascular embolization were 89%, 86%, and 80%, respectively. When GKS was used with embolization, the obliteration rate was 83%, although it was only 54% in GKS alone. Spontaneous obliteration of the DAVF occurred in three patients. There were a few complications, including hemiparesis (in microsurgery), intracranial hemorrhage (in endovascular embolization), and facial palsy (in GKS).


          The hemorrhagic risk of DAVFs is dependent on the location and hemodynamics of the lesions. Strategies for treatment of intracranial DAVFs should be decided according to the characteristic of the DAVFs, based on the location and drainage pattern. GKS can be used as an optional treatment for intracranial DAVFs.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Classification and treatment of spontaneous carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas.

          An anatomical-angiographic classification for carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas is introduced and a series of 14 patients with spontaneous carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas is reviewed to illustrate the usefulness of such a classification for patient evaluation and treatment. Fistulas are divided into four types: Type A are direct high-flow shunts between the internal carotid artery and the cavernous sinus; Type B are dural shunts between meningeal branches of the internal carotid artery and the cavernous sinus; Type C are dural shunts between meningeal branches of the external carotid artery and the cavernous sinus; and Type D are dural shunts between meningeal branches of both the internal and external carotid arteries and the cavernous sinus. The anatomy, clinical manifestations, angiographic evaluation, indications for therapy, and therapeutic options for spontaneous carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas are discussed.
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            Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: classification, imaging findings, and treatment.

             D. Gandhi (corresponding) ,  J. Chen,  M. Pearl (2012)
            Intracranial DAVFs are pathologic dural-based shunts and account for 10%-15% of all intracranial arteriovenous malformations. These malformations derive their arterial supply primarily from meningeal vessels, and the venous drainage is either via dural venous sinuses or through the cortical veins. DAVFs have a reported association with dural sinus thrombosis, venous hypertension, previous craniotomy, and trauma, though many lesions are idiopathic. The diagnosis is dependent on a high level of clinical suspicion and high-resolution imaging. Cross-sectional imaging techniques by using CT and MR imaging aid in the diagnosis, but conventional angiography remains the most accurate method for complete characterization and classification of DAVFs. The pattern of venous drainage observed on dynamic vascular imaging determines the type of DAVF and correlates with the severity of symptoms and the risk of hemorrhage.
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              Clinical course of cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas with long-term persistent cortical venous reflux.

              The natural history of aggressive (Borden 2 and 3) cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) is not well described. Reported annual mortality and hemorrhage rates vary widely and range up to 20% per year. A consecutive single-center cohort of 236 cases that presented with a cranial DAVF between June 1984 and May 2001 was reviewed for the consequences of long-term persistent cortical venous reflux (CVR). A group of 118 cranial DAVFs was selected for the presence of CVR. All patients were offered treatment aimed at the disconnection of the CVR. Patients who declined or had partial treatment with persistence of the CVR had long-term clinical and angiographic follow-up to study the disease course of this select group. Treatment was instituted in 101 of the 118 patients (85.6%). Three patients were lost to follow-up. The remaining 14 nontreated patients (11.9%) and the partially treated patients (n=6) were assessed clinically and angiographically over time. The mean follow-up in this select group was 4.3 years (86.9 patient-years). During follow-up, 7 patients suffered an intracranial hemorrhage (35%). The incidence of nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit was 30%. Nine patients (45%) died: 6 patients expired after a hemorrhage, and 3 patients died of progressive neurological deterioration. Two patients demonstrated a spontaneous closure of the DAVF (10%). Persistence of the CVR in cranial DAVFs yields an annual mortality rate of 10.4%. Excluding events at presentation, in this series the annual risk for hemorrhage or nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit during follow-up was 8.1% and 6.9%, respectively, resulting in an annual event rate of 15.0%.

                Author and article information

                J Cerebrovasc Endovasc Neurosurg
                J Cerebrovasc Endovasc Neurosurg
                Journal of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery
                Korean Society of Cerebrovascular Surgeons; Korean Society of Endovascular Surgery
                September 2012
                28 September 2012
                : 14
                : 3
                : 192-202
                [1 ]Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Eulji University, Daejeon, Korea.
                [2 ]Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA.
                Author notes
                Correspondence to Seung Young Chung, MD. Department of Neurosurgery, college of Medicine, Eulji University, Dunsan-2dong, Seogu, Daejeon 302-799, Korea. Tel: (001) 82-42-611-3442, Fax: (001) 82-42-611-3444, neurocsy@ 123456eulji.ac.kr
                © 2012 Journal of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article


                therapeutics, dural arteriovenous fistula, signs and symptoms


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