Cranial dural arteriovenous shunts: selection of the ideal lesion for surgical occlusion according to the classification system

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:1775–1781 

The types of cranial dural arteriovenous fistulae (cDAVFs) that constitute good surgical candidates are unclear despite the use of classifications. We aimed to compare the DES classification with other classification schemes in identifying “ideal lesions for surgery.” The DES scheme is based on two features: the level of the shunt (BVS, bridging vein shunt; DSS, dural sinus shunt; ISS, isolated sinus shunt; EVS, emissary vein shunt) and the type of leptomeningeal venous reflux (LVR) (direct, exclusive, strained).

In this observational cohort study, the angiographies of 20 consecutive patients treated over 1 year were analyzed retrospectively. We defined cDAVFs as ideal for surgery, if cure may be achieved by disconnecting the arterialized draining vein through a single craniotomy. To evaluate the performance of each classification scheme in identifying the “ideal lesion for surgery,” we carried out a sensitivity analysis of the Borden, Cognard, and DES schemes.

Eight lesions were Borden type 3 and 1 type 2, and 11 type 1. According to Cognard, 2 lesions were type IV, 2 type III, 1 type IIa+b, 11 type I, and 4 lesions could not be clearly classified. According to the DES scheme, 8 lesions were DSS, 4 BVS, 3 ISS, and 5 EVS. All 4 lesions classified as BVS in the DES were ideal lesions for surgery (sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV 100%). Not all high-grade lesions according to Borden were good surgical candidates.

Conclusion The DES scheme, as opposed to other classifications, facilitates the therapeutic decision-making especially for selecting candidates for surgery.