Brain stem ischemia from intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula: case report

Surg Neurol. 2005 Oct;64(4):341-5; discussion 345. doi: 10.1016/j.surneu.2004.12.029.


Background: Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) with spinal perimedullary venous drainage are rarely reported, but most of the patients initially have presented with myelopathy or subarachnoid hemorrhage. This is the first report of the intracranial dural AVF patient who presented with brain stem infarction.

Case description: A 38-year-old woman experienced nausea and vomiting with an acute onset, followed by vertigo. Magnetic resonance imaging showed ischemic lesion in the medulla oblongata, and she was then sent to our hospital. On admission, she had nystagmus, swallowing difficulties, Homer syndrome, and right hemiparesis and hemisensory disturbance. Cerebral angiography revealed dural AVF draining into spinal perimedullary veins at the left transverse-sigmoid sinus. The patient was treated by transvenous embolization under local anesthesia. A microcatheter proceeded to the left sigmoid sinus via the internal jugular vein, and embolization of the sinus was performed using coils without complications. The patient's swallowing difficulties improved over a few days after the embolization, and one month later, there remained only a slight mild hemiparesis and hemisensory disturbance. Six months after the onset, there was no ischemic lesion in the brain stem on magnetic resonance imaging.

Conclusions: In this case, we showed the possibility of brain stem infarction, caused by the intracranial dural AVF.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Brain Ischemia / surgery*
  • Brain Stem Infarctions / etiology
  • Brain Stem Infarctions / physiopathology
  • Brain Stem Infarctions / surgery*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cranial Sinuses / pathology*
  • Cranial Sinuses / physiopathology
  • Cranial Sinuses / surgery*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / pathology*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery*
  • Lateral Medullary Syndrome / etiology
  • Lateral Medullary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Lateral Medullary Syndrome / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Medulla Oblongata / blood supply
  • Medulla Oblongata / pathology
  • Medulla Oblongata / physiopathology
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Spinal Cord / blood supply
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods