Intracranial pial fistulas in pediatric population. Clinical features and treatment modalities

Childs Nerv Syst. 2015 Sep;31(9):1509-14. doi: 10.1007/s00381-015-2778-3. Epub 2015 Jun 9.


Purpose: The purpose of the study is to describe the clinical manifestations and treatment modalities of patients having intracranial pial arteriovenous fistulas (PAVFs).

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the cases of PAVFs from January 2004 to December 2013. Medical charts, diagnostic images, surgical, and endovascular reports were reviewed retrospectively during each of the procedures and follow-up. We recorded patient demographics, clinical presentation, treatment modalities, and outcome.

Results: Ten patients with single PAVFs were identified, one of them with multiple holes. The median age was 7.5 years old (20 days to 14 years). Six patients were male (60% of cases). Four PAVFs were localized in the posterior fossa, and six were supratentorial (60%). Two patients had intracranial bleeding, three presented seizures, one was studied for chronic headaches, three manifested by growth retardation, one had hydrocephalus, and one had a congestive heart failure (CHF) and vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation (VGAM). The latter did not improve after embolization and died few days later. Endovascular therapy was used in eight, whereas two patients were surgically managed. Total occlusion of the fistula was achieved in all cases.

Conclusions: PAVF affects pediatric population at different ages with miscellaneous clinical manifestations. Endovascular treatment is safe and effective when the venous side of the fistula can be occluded.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Pia Mater / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome*