Venous congestion: an MR finding in dural arteriovenous malformations with cortical venous drainage

R Willinsky, K Terbrugge, W Montanera, D Mikulis, M C Wallace
AJNR. American Journal of Neuroradiology 1994, 15 (8): 1501-7

PURPOSE: To present the MR findings of intracranial dural arteriovenous malformations with cortical venous drainage, emphasizing the parenchymal changes.

METHODS: Conventional MR and x-ray angiograms in 13 patients with dural arteriovenous malformations and cortical venous reflux were reviewed. The site of the shunt, location of the venous reflux, and presence of venous stenosis were assessed on the angiograms. Parenchymal changes, dilated vessels, and venous occlusive disease were assessed on MR.

RESULTS: On MR, 10 of the 13 patients (77%) had dilated pial vessels. Two patients had hydrocephalus. Two patients presented with parenchymal bleeds, one with a subdural component, both remote from the nidus. Two patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. One patient had a parenchymal bleed 9 months after presentation. Venous occlusion was evident on MR in 2 patients. Diffuse white matter edema in the cerebellar or cerebral hemispheres was present on MR in 4 patients and correlated with neurologic deficits. In 2 of these 4 patients, gadolinium enhancement was seen in the periphery of the involved hemisphere.

CONCLUSIONS: On MR a surplus of pial vessels suggests a dural arteriovenous malformation with cortical venous drainage. The MR finding of white matter edema deep in the cerebral or cerebellar hemispheres is direct evidence of a venous congestion.

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