This article presents a modification to the existing classification scales of intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas based on newly published research regarding the relationship of clinical symptoms and outcome. The 2 commonly used scales, the Borden-Shucart and Cognard scales, rely entirely on angiographic features for categorization. The most critical anatomical feature is the identification of cortical venous drainage (CVD; Borden-Shucart Types II and III and Cognard Types IIb, IIa + b, III, IV, and V), as this feature identifies lesions at high risk for future hemorrhage or ischemic neurological injury. Yet recent data has emerged indicating that within these high-risk groups, most of the risk for future injury is in the subgroup presenting with intracerebral hemorrhage or nonhemorrhagic neurological deficits. The authors have defined this subgroup as symptomatic CVD. Patients who present incidentally or with symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus or ophthalmological phenomena have a less aggressive clinical course. The authors have defined this subgroup as asymptomatic CVD. Based on recent data the annual rate of intracerebral hemorrhage is 7.4-7.6% for patients with symptomatic CVD compared with 1.4-1.5% for those with asymptomatic CVD. The addition of asymptomatic CVD or symptomatic CVD as modifiers to the Borden-Shucart and Cognard systems improves their accuracy for risk stratification of patients with high-grade dural arteriovenous fistulas.
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula
- Natural history
- Neurological deficits