Suspected dural arteriovenous fistula: results with screening MR angiography in seven patients

Radiology. 1992 Apr;183(1):265-71. doi: 10.1148/radiology.183.1.1549684.


Previous studies have shown that spin-echo (SE) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has been helpful in the assessment of dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF); however, direct visualization of the fistula site is limited. Thus, conventional plain angiography is required to establish the diagnosis. Because of this limitation, the additional use of MR angiography may improve noninvasive screening for this disorder. Seven patients with DAVFs proved at plain angiography were evaluated with SE MR imaging and with three-dimensional (3D) time-of-flight (TOF) MR angiography. In six of seven cases, 3D TOF MR angiography demonstrated the fistula site. Correlation was good when compared with findings at plain angiography. Occlusion of the dural sinus was found at plain angiography in three of seven patients but was missed at SE imaging in all three. MR angiography also failed to demonstrate sinus occlusion in two of three patients. Arterial feeders could not be seen on SE MR images, but MR angiography improved their depiction. Plain angiography demonstrated abnormal venous drainage into distended cortical veins in three patients, but dilated cortical veins were noted in only two of the patients on both SE MR images and MR angiograms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / congenital
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / diagnosis*
  • Blood Vessels / pathology
  • Dura Mater / blood supply*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged