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Clinical, angiographic, and treatment characteristics of cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas with pial arterial supply


Background The prevalence of pial arterial supply to cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVF) and its implication in the management of these fistulas is not well characterized. We performed a retrospective study to characterize pial arterial supply to dural arteriovenous fistulas and the implications for treatment.

Methods Consecutive patients evaluated over a 12-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Angiograms were reviewed to characterize dAVF angioarchitecture and the presence of pial artery supply. Pial artery supply was categorized as dilated pre-existing dural branches and pure pial supply. We then studied the association between pial artery supply and clinical, angiographic, and treatment features.

Results A total of 201 patients were included of which 27 (13.4%) had pial artery supply. Of these, 11 had supply from dilated pre-existing dural branches, nine had pure pial supply,and seven had both. There was a higher rate of dAVF rupture in the pial supply group (30.8% vs 9.8%, P=0.003) and these fistulas had a higher rate of Borden 2 and 3 (88.9% vs 38.4%, P<0.0001). Fistulas with pial artery supply had similar rates of endovascular and gamma knife treatment, but were more likely to undergo surgery than those without pial supply (25.9% vs 10.4%, P=0.03). Major complication rates were similar between groups (0% vs 1.1%, P=0.55).

Conclusions More than 10% of dAVFs also have pial supply but this is not a contraindication to embolization. In our study pure pial supply was associated with a more aggressive fistula and was most common in tentorial dAVFs.

  • fistula
  • liquid embolic material

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