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.