Dural fistulas of the anterior cranial fossa.

J Xavier, R Cruz, A Stocker, C Vasconcelos, J Reis, J Almeida-Pinto

Abstract


Dural arterio-venous shunts (DAVS) of the anterior cranial fossa are quite rare. There are only a few cases reported in the literature. The authors present 5 cases of dural arterio-venous shunts (DAVS) of the anterior cranial fossa, allowing more data for later reviews of this rare and aggressive localisation of DAVS. The clinical set, imaging findings (with emphasis in diagnostic angiography), treatment and outcome in these 5 patients are described. Haemorrhage was the presenting form in 4 patients; the other case presented was investigated for headache. There were bilateral symmetric feeders in two patients, unilateral feeders in another two and unilateral predominant feeders in one; contribution of the external carotid artery, when present, was always minimal. Venous drainage included one or combinations of these: superior sagittal sinus, sylvian veins and cavernous sinus. Three patients had venous aneurysms in anterior cranial fossa; of these, two presented with haemorrhage, but the third one of them has been asymptomatic for 7 years. Three patients were treated by surgical exclusion of the shunt and became clinical and angiographicaly normal. According to the literature, our cases confirm the highly aggressive behaviour of these DAVS. Surgical treatment is an efficacious method of therapy and should be done as soon as possible. Embolization can be attempted but is technically difficult and eventually too expensive.

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