Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:151–161
Cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are rare lesions managed mainly with endovascular treatment (EVT) and/or surgery. We hypothesize that there may be subtypes of dAVFs responding better to a specific treatment modality in terms of successful obliteration and cessation of symptoms and/or risks.
Methods All dAVFs treated during 2011–2018 at our hospital were analyzed retrospectively. Presenting symptoms, radiological variables, treatment modality, complications, and residual symptoms were related to dAVF type using the original Djindjian classification.
Results We treated 112 dAVFs in 107 patients (71, 66% males). They presented with hemorrhage (n = 23; 21%), nonhemorrhagic symptoms (n = 75; 70%), or were discovered incidentally (n = 9; 8%). There were 25 (22%) type I, 29 (26%) type II, 26 (23%) type III, and 32 (29%) type IV fistulas. EVT was the primary treatment modality in 72/112 (64%) dAVFs whereas 40/112 (36%) underwent primary surgery with angiographic obliteration rates of 60% and 90%, respectively. Using a secondary treatment modality in 23 dAVFs, we obtained a final obliteration rate of 93%, including all type III/IV and 26/27 (96%) type II dAVFs. Except for headache, residual symptoms were rare and minor. Permanent neurological complications consisted of five cranial nerve deficits.
Conclusions We recommend EVT as first treatment modality in types I, II, and in non-hemorrhagic type III/IV dAVFs. We recommend surgery as first treatment choice in acute hemorrhagic dAVFs and as secondary choice in type III/IV dAVFs not successfully occluded by EVT. Combining the two modalities provides obliteration in 9/10 dAVF cases at a low procedural risk.
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