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Papers of the Week

2020 Feb 24

World Neurosurg

Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Presenting as Trigeminal Neuralgia: Two Case Reports and Review of the Literature.


Brown EC, Texakalidis P, Stedelin B, Tora MS, Rindler RS, Grossberg JA, Peterson R, Campbell M, Cetas JS, Boulis N, Raslan AM
World Neurosurg. 2020 Feb 24.
PMID: 32105882.


Dural arteriovenous fistulae (dAVF) can sporadically compress the root entry zone (REZ) of the trigeminal nerve or the Gasserian ganglion and can therefore be a rare cause of isolated or complicated trigeminal neuralgia (TN). We describe two cases of TN related to dAVF treated similarly with transarterial embolization but with divergent outcomes. Further, we completed a comprehensive literature review of previously reported cases to date. A sparse but growing literature with regards to this specific and rare but salient cause of TN was noted. The type of dAVF most commonly found to cause TN was that of a tentorial nidus; a lesion generally accepted to be at high risk of hemorrhage and in need of urgent treatment. This warrants imaging for new TN presentations to ensure that a dangerous lesion does not represent the underlying cause, especially when the TN symptoms are comorbid with other symptoms such as a bruit. Treatments pursued span the range of open surgery, endovascular treatment, and radiosurgery with great success in treating both the TN symptoms as well as the rupture risk of the dAVF itself in most case. Indeed, endovascular approaches are becoming more widely employed for these cases over time, often resolving the abnormality on first treatment attempt. Other cases reach resolution after employing a combination of treatment modalities. This work highlights that dAVFs, particularly the tentorial type, are capable of causing TN symptomatically identical to that of other etiologies and that treatment of the dAVF itself is often sufficient.