Dural arteriovenous fistula of the posterior fossa developing after surgical occlusion of the sigmoid sinus. Report of five cases

J Neurosurg. 1996 Jan;84(1):113-8. doi: 10.3171/jns.1996.84.1.0113.


In this article, the authors present five cases of dural arteriovenous fistula (AVF) that developed in the transverse-sigmoid sinus 2 to 6 years after sacrifice of the sigmoid sinus because of tumor involvement. The original tumor was meningioma in two patients and neurinoma, glomus jugulare tumor, and ameloblastoma in one patient each. The involved sigmoid sinus was resected along with the tumor and ligated at the normal edge; all that remained of the sigmoid sinus was a small stump on the retrosigmoid portion. Serial angiography performed before and after tumor surgery revealed no abnormal arteriovenous communications or dural AVF in any of the cases. Although many reports have suggested that sinus thrombosis is a precipitating factor in the pathogenesis of dural AVFs, this has been difficult to verify because of the small number of cases in which serial angiography was performed before the development of a dural AVF. In all of the cases presented in this article, surgical resection of a dural AVF and histological examination were performed. Subintimal fibrous thickening was marked, and the sinus wall was found to contain many dural vessels. Organized thrombosis with neovascularization was seen in only two patients. These cases demonstrate that subintimal fibrous thickening a hypertrophied sinus wall secondary to increased intrasinus pressure or sinus thrombosis occurring after sinus occlusion can provoke the development of a dural AVF within the course of a lifetime. Maintenance of intrasinus blood flow may be very important to prevent this late postoperative complication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Fistula / etiology*
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / pathology
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior
  • Cranial Sinuses / surgery*
  • Dura Mater / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed