Background: Pial arterial supplies are sometimes found in patients with dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs), though their characteristics have rarely been clarified.
Objective: To investigate the characteristics of pial arterial supplies in DAVFs and to discuss their pathophysiology and treatment.
Methods: Two hundred four consecutive patients with intracranial DAVFs over 11 yr were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical factors and radiological findings, including the presence of pial arterial supplies, were evaluated. Supply from a pial artery was classified into 2 categories: dilated pre-existing dural branches of pial arteries, and a "pure" pial supply.
Results: Twenty-three of 204 patients (11.3%) showed an additional pial arterial supply. Multivariate analysis identified 3 independent predictors of a pial arterial supply: younger age (P < .0005), DAVF within the tentorium (P = .0162), and presence of venous dilatation (P = .0001). A dilated pre-existing dural branch of a pial artery was identified in 17 patients, while 8 had a pure pial supply. Of these 23 patients, 17 underwent interventional therapy. No postoperative intracranial hemorrhage or infarction occurred in patients with pial arterial supplies.
Conclusion: An additional pial supply is not uncommon in DAVFs and may be explained by a rich physiological pial arterial supply to the dura mater from the posterior circulation, while potential angiogenesis due to venous hypertension remains speculative. Prior to interventional treatment for DAVFs, recognition of a pial arterial supply to the DAVF might influence the treatment strategy and could help avoid inadvertent retrograde embolization of brain supplying vessels through the pial network.