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Papers of the Week

2021 Nov 25




Intracranial Hemorrhage from Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas: What Can We Find with CT Angiography?


Negro A, Somma F, Piscitelli V, La Tessa G M E, Sicignano C, Fasano F, Tamburrini S, Vargas O, Pace G, Iannuzzi M, Villa A, Della Gatta L, Chiaramonte C, Caranci F, Tortora F, D'Agostino V
Tomography. 2021 Nov 25; 7(4):804-814.
PMID: 34941640.


(1) Background: Dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVF) represent a rare acquired intracranial vascular malformation, with a variety of clinical signs and symptoms, which make their diagnosis difficult. Intracranial hemorrhage is one of the most serious clinical manifestations. In this paper the authors' goal was to verify the accuracy and utility of contrast-enhanced brain CT angiography (CTA) for the identification and the characterization of dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) in patients who presented with brain hemorrhage compared to 3D digital subtraction angiography (3D DSA); (2) a retrospective study of 26 patients with DAVFs who presented with intracranial hemorrhage to our institution was performed. The information reviewed included clinical presentation, location and size of hemorrhage, brain CTA and 3D DSA findings; (3) results: 61% (16/26) of DAVFs were identified by CTA. The vast majority of patients were male (69%, 18/26) and the most common presenting symptom was sudden onset headache. All DAVFs had cortical venous drainage and about one-third were associated with a venous varix. The most common location was tentorial (73%, 19/26); (4) conclusions: CTA can represent a valid alternative diagnostic method to 3D DSA for the study of DAVF in the initial and preliminary diagnostic approach, especially in emergency situations. In fact, it represents a fast, inexpensive, non-invasive and above all, easily accessible and available diagnostic technique, unlike DSA or MRI, allowing to provide information necessary for the identification, classification and treatment planning of DAVFs.