Transcranial approach for venous embolization of dural arteriovenous fistulas

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  • 1 Departments of Neuroradiology and Neurosurgery, Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris, France
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Object. Transvenous embolization is effective in the treatment of an intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF). Access to the fistula via the internal jugular vein (IJV) may be limited by associated dural sinus thrombosis; a transcranial approach has been developed for venous embolization in such a situation. The authors report their experiences with the use of a transcranial approach for venous embolization of DAVFs.

Methods. Ten patients with DAVFs underwent craniectomy and embolization procedures in which direct sinus puncture was performed. The DAVFs were located inside the dura mater that constituted the walls of the transverse sinus in five cases, the superior sagittal sinus in four cases, and the superior petrosal sinus in one case. All DAVFs drained directly into a sinus with secondary reflux into leptomeningeal veins. In all cases, the fistula could not be accessed from the IJVs. Craniectomy was performed in an operating room and, in seven cases, subsequent enlargement of the craniectomy was required. Sinus catheterization was performed after the patient had been transferred to the angiography room. The DAVFs were embolized using coils only in five patients, glue only in two patients, and both coils and glue in three patients. Angiographic confirmation that embolization of the fistula was successful was obtained in all cases. A transient complication occurred during the first case after sinus catheterization was attempted in the operating room.

Conclusions. The transcranial approach allows straightforward access to DAVFs located on superficial dural sinuses that are inaccessible from the IJVs. The effectiveness of this approach is similar to that of the standard retrograde venous approach. The correct location and adequate extent of the craniectomy are essential for success to be achieved using this technique.

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