Long-term stability of Onyx: is there any indication for repeated angiography after dural arteriovenous fistula embolization?

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery and Neurooncology, Charles University in Prague, First Medical Faculty, Central Military Hospital; and
  • | 2 Department of Neuroradiology, Central Military Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic
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OBJECTIVE

The natural course of dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) is unfavorable. Transarterial embolization with Onyx is currently the therapeutic method of choice, although the long-term stability of Onyx has been questioned. The literature reports a significant difference in the recurrence rate after complete DAVF occlusion and lacks larger series with long-term follow-up. The authors present the largest series to date with a long-term follow-up to determine the stability of Onyx, prospectively comparing magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) as follow-up diagnostic methods.

METHODS

Demographics, clinical symptomatology, length of follow-up, diagnostic methods, and angiographic findings of DAVFs were recorded and retrospectively evaluated in 112 patients. A prospective group of 15 patients with more than 5 years of follow-up after complete DAVF occlusion was established. All 15 patients in the prospective group underwent a clinical examination and MRA; 10 of these patients also underwent DSA. The recurrences and the correlation between the two diagnostic methods were evaluated.

RESULTS

Among the 112 patients, 71 were men and 41 were women, with an average age of 60 years. Intracranial hemorrhage (40%) was the most common clinical presentation of DAVF. At the last follow-up, 73% of the patients experienced clinical improvement, 21% remained unchanged, and 6% worsened. Overall, 87.5% of the DAVFs were occluded entirely with endovascular treatment, and 93% of the DAVFs were classified as cured at the last follow-up (i.e., completely embolized DAVFs and DAVFs that thrombosed spontaneously or after Gamma Knife surgery). Two recurrences of DAVFs were recorded in the entire series. Both were first diagnosed by MRA and confirmed with DSA. The mean follow-up was 27.7 months. In the prospective group, a small asymptomatic recurrence was diagnosed. The mean follow-up of the prospective group was 96 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Onyx is a stable embolic material, although recurrence of seemingly completely occluded DAVFs may develop because of postembolization hemodynamic changes that accentuate primarily graphically absent residual fistula. These residuals can be diagnosed with MRA at follow-up. The authors’ data suggest that MRA could be sufficient as the follow-up diagnostic method after complete DAVF occlusion with Onyx. However, larger prospective studies on this topic are needed.

ABBREVIATIONS

CVD = cortical venous drainage; DAVF = dural arteriovenous fistula; DSA = digital subtraction angiography; EVT = endovascular treatment; MRA = magnetic resonance angiography; mRS = modified Rankin Scale; NBCA = N-butyl cyanoacrylate; NHND = nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit; TAE = transarterial embolization; TVE = transvenous embolization.

Illustration from Schneider et al. (pp 205–214). Copyright Elyssa Siegel. Published with permission.

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