Treatment of cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas with exclusive cortical venous drainage: A single-center cohort of 35 patients

Interv Neuroradiol. 2017 Dec;23(6):661-665. doi: 10.1177/1591019917728399. Epub 2017 Oct 4.


Background and purpose Dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) with cortical venous drainage often present with hemorrhage or neurological deficits and prompt treatment is indicated. Disconnection of the draining vein is considered curative. We present the multimodality treatment results of 35 patients with cranial DAVFs with exclusive cortical venous drainage. Materials and methods Between January 2010 and January 2017, 35 consecutive patients with cranial dural fistulas with exclusive cortical venous drainage were treated. There were 27 men and eight women, mean age 68 years (range 45-87). Clinical presentation was hemorrhage in 23 (66%), pulsatile bruit in two (6%), seizures in one (3%) and blurred vision in one (3%). In eight patients (22%), the DAVF was an incidental finding. Location of the DAVFs was convexity in 25 (71%), posterior fossa in eight (23%) and tentorium in two (6%). Results Surgery was performed in four patients with anterior cranial fossa fistulas and in one patient with a tentorial dural fistula. In 30 patients, embolization with Onyx via the arterial route was the primary treatment with complete obliteration in one session in 25 patients. Additional surgical or endovascular sessions were necessary in five patients after incomplete embolization and in one patient after incomplete surgery. Obliteration was confirmed with angiography after three months. There were no procedural complications. Conclusions Patients with dural fistulas with cortical venous drainage were cured with a strategy of arterial endovascular treatment with Onyx and surgery. These techniques were either primarily successful or complementary. There were no complications of treatment.

Keywords: Dural arteriovenous fistula; neuroradiology; neurovascular.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations / therapy*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Polyvinyls
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Onyx copolymer
  • Polyvinyls
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide