Percutaneous transfacial direct embolization of an intraosseous dural arteriovenous fistula

John D. Nerva*, Danial K. Hallam, Basavaraj V. Ghodke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background and importance: An intraosseous dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) is a rare cerebrovascular disease. The fistulous connection occurs within intraosseous diploic or transosseous emissary veins causing dilated intraosseous vascular pouches. To the authors' knowledge, this report describes the first percutaneous transfacial direct embolization of an intraosseous DAVF. Clinical presentation: A man in his 50s with blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome presented with headaches, imbalance, decreased visual acuity bilaterally, and left eye proptosis and chemosis. Imaging demonstrated an extensive intraosseous DAVF with dilated intraosseous vascular pouches throughout his cranial base and intraorbital venous congestion. He underwent staged endovascular treatment with the goal to improve his ocular symptoms. Transarterial and transvenous approaches failed to provide adequate access to the intraosseous vascular pouches. A direct, percutaneous transfacial approach was used to access the pouches for embolization with coils and liquid embolic material. Postoperative angiography demonstrated successful embolization of the pouch within the left pterygoid wing, reduced opacification of the intraosseous fistula, and elimination of intraorbital venous congestion. At 9-month follow-up, the patient's headaches had resolved, and his ocular symptomatology had improved. Conclusion: Endovascular access to an intraosseous DAVF is limited by the size and location of the intraosseous vascular pouches. In this case, a direct transfacial approach under image guidance facilitated access and embolization, which led to an improvement in the patient's symptoms. This technique is a novel approach for DAVF management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E178-E182
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome
  • Dural arteriovenous fistula
  • Endovascular techniques
  • Imageguided direct embolization
  • Intraosseous dural arteriovenous fistula


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