The severity of cerebral hemodynamic disturbance caused by retrograde leptomeningeal venous drainage (RLVD) of a dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) is related to neurological morbidity and unfavorable outcome. However, the cerebral hemodynamics of this disorder have not been elucidated well. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between the cerebral venous congestive encephalopathy represented as a high-intensity area (HIA) on T2-weighted MR images and the cerebral hemodynamics examined by 123I-iodoamphetamine (IMP) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), as well as the predictive value of 123I-IMP SPECT for the development and reversibility of venous congestion encephalopathy.
Based on the pre- and posttreatment T2 HIAs associated with venous congestion encephalopathy, patients were divided into 3 groups: a normal group, an edema group, and an infarction group. The regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) at the region with RLVD was analyzed by 123I-IMP SPECT, and the results were compared among the groups.
There were 11, 6, and 3 patients in the normal, edema, and infarction groups, respectively. No patients in the normal group showed any symptoms related to venous congestion. In contrast, all patients in the edema and infarction groups developed neurological symptoms. The rCBF in the edema group was significantly lower than that in the normal group, and significantly higher than that in the infarction group. The cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR) of the infarction group was significantly lower than that of the normal and edema groups. After treatment, the neurological signs disappeared in the edema group, but only partial improvement was seen in the infarction group. The rCBF also significantly increased in the normal and edema groups, but not in the infarction group.
Quantitative rCBF measurement is useful for evaluating hemodynamic disturbance in dAVF with RLVD. The reduction of rCBF was strongly correlated with the severity of venous congestive encephalopathy, and loss of CVR is a reliable indicator of irreversible venous infarction caused by RLVD.