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J Neurosurg. 1998 Mar;88(3):449-56.

Direct packing of the isolated sinus in patients with dural arteriovenous fistulas of the transverse-sigmoid sinus.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Japan.



The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of direct packing of the isolated sinus (occluded both distally and proximally) in patients with dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) of the transverse-sigmoid sinus.


Eight patients were included in this study. There were seven men and one woman, ranging in age from 47 to 75 years (mean 60.4 years). Five patients presented with intracranial hemorrhage or venous infarction, one with convulsions, and two with pulsatile tinnitus. Prominent retrograde cortical venous drainage due to sinus isolation was angiographically demonstrated in all patients. All patients were treated by a small craniotomy and direct sinus packing with microcoils; the procedure was performed with the aid of digital subtraction angiography. Five patients were pretreated with transarterial embolization to reduce arterial inflow before the procedure, and intrasinus pressure and sinus blood gases were monitored throughout the operation. Postsurgery, the dural AVF was completely obliterated in all patients. The sinus pressure was 29 to 58% of systemic blood pressure, and sinus blood gas levels were purely arterial before packing. There was no morbidity related to direct sinus packing; however, one patient died as a result of acute myocardial infarction. Over a follow-up period ranging from 1 to 5 years, a faint asymptomatic dural AVF recurred in one patient on the cortex adjacent to the occluded sinus but regressed spontaneously within 1 year.


Direct sinus packing was found to be highly effective for the treatment of dural AVFs that empty into the isolated sinus. Measurement of changes in sinus pressure and sinus blood gas levels was useful for monitoring the progress of direct sinus packing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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