The pathogenesis of dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) remains poorly defined. Prior studies on thrombophilia as a risk factor for DAVF development are limited by small sample sizes and poor generalizability.
In this longitudinal observational study, all patients with intracranial DAVFs evaluated at the University of California, San Francisco from December 1994 through April 2014 were identified. After obtaining patient consent, 3 thrombophilic mutations, factor V Leiden (rs6025), MTHFR (rs1801133), and prothrombin G20210A, were genotyped. The authors evaluated the association of thrombophilia status (presence of any thrombophilic mutation) and clinical and angiographic characteristics using either a 2-sample t-test or Fisher’s exact test.
A total of 116 patients with diagnosed intracranial DAVFs were included in the study. Twenty-five (22%) patients met criteria for thrombophilia. Focal neurological deficits tended to occur more frequently in the thrombophilia group (78% vs 57%, p = 0.09). Angiographic characteristics of DAVFs, including high-risk venous flow pattern, multiplicity of DAVF, and the presence of venous sinus thrombosis, did not differ significantly between the 2 groups but tended to be more common in the thrombophilic than in the nonthrombophilic group.
This study is one of the largest of thrombophilia and DAVF to date. The frequency of mutations associated with thrombophilia in this study was higher than that in the general population.