Treatment of intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: current strategies based on location and hemodynamics, and alternative techniques of transcatheter embolization

Radiographics. Nov-Dec 2004;24(6):1637-53. doi: 10.1148/rg.246045026.


Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) can occur anywhere within the dura mater. Patients may be clinically asymptomatic or may experience symptoms ranging from mild symptoms to fatal hemorrhage, depending on the location (eg, cavernous sinus, transverse-sigmoid sinus, tentorium, superior sagittal sinus, anterior fossa) and venous drainage pattern of the AVF. In the past, dural AVFs have been treated with a variety of approaches, including surgical resection, venous clipping, transcatheter embolization, radiation therapy, or a combination of these treatments. Recent developments in catheter intervention now allow most patients to be cured with transcatheter embolization, although stereotactic radiation therapy is demonstrating good results in an increasing number of cases and surgery is still the preferred option in some cases. Familiarity with drainage patterns, the risk of aggressive symptoms, recent technical advances, and current treatment strategies is essential for the treatment of intracranial dural AVFs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / therapy*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans