Dural arteriovenous fistulas supplied by ethmoidal arteries

Neurosurgery. 1990 May;26(5):816-23. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199005000-00014.


Eight patients with dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) located on the floor of the anterior cranial fossa and supplied by enlarged ethmoidal branches of the ophthalmic artery are described. Five patients showed the classical symptom of intracerebral hemorrhage (all five had ipsilateral frontal lobe hematomas and one also had an associated a subdural hematoma). Two patients exhibited atypical symptoms of proptosis, chemosis, elevated intraocular pressure, and loss of vision secondary to an ethmoidal DAVF, which drained posteriorly to the cavernous sinus. The eighth patient exhibited proptosis and chemosis secondary to a cavernous sinus DAVF and was incidentally found to have an asymptomatic ethmoidal DAVF. One additional patient had two separate dural fistulas: one located on the cribriform plate and the second located in the posterior fossa. Seven of the eight patients were cured by surgical excision of the fistula site; in the remaining patient spontaneous obliteration followed a surgical procedure for a cavernous DAVF. DAVFs involving the floor of the anterior cranial fossa usually present with hemorrhage, but can present with ocular symptoms or be entirely asymptomatic and are effectively treated by surgical excision of the fistula site.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / physiopathology
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / surgery*
  • Cerebral Arteries / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Arteries / surgery*
  • Cerebral Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Veins / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Veins / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed