A proposed classification for spinal and cranial dural arteriovenous fistulous malformations and implications for treatment

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
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✓ A classification is proposed that unifies and organizes spinal and cranial dural arteriovenous fistulous malformations (AVFMs) into three types based upon their anatomical similarities. Type I dural AVFMs drain directly into dural venous sinuses or meningeal veins. Type II malformations drain into dural sinuses or meningeal veins but also have retrograde drainage into subarachnoid veins. Type III malformations drain into subarachnoid veins and do not have dural sinus or meningeal venous drainage. The arterial supply in each of these three types is derived from meningeal arteries.

The anatomical basis of the proposed classification is presented with several cases that illustrate the three types of dural AVFMs. A rationale for the treatment of spinal and cranial dural AVFMs according to their anatomical characteristics is discussed.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: William A. Shucart, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, New England Medical Center #178, 750 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.
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