Follow-up MRI in dural arteriovenous malformations involving the cavernous sinus: emphasis on detection of venous thrombosis

Research paper by N. Hirabuki, N. Fujita, T. Hashimoto, K. Fujii, T. Miura, M. Mitomo, R. Kawai, T. Kozuka

Indexed on: 01 Sep '92Published on: 01 Sep '92Published in: Neuroradiology


Six patients with a dural arteriovenous malformation (dural AVM) involving the cavernous sinus were followed up with magnetic resonance imaging in order to assess change in the lesions. Spin-echo (SE) imaging of three patients in whom the AVM appeared to have closed at least 1 month earlier (two of them spontaneously, and one after external carotid artery embolization) showed neither apparent flow void in the involved cavernous sinus nor evidence of venous thrombosis. SE images of the other three patients who had not been cured by external carotid artery embolization (two of whom were examined within a week of treatment), detected persisting arteriovenous shunts, including high-flow cortical venous drainage, seen as flow void. Two-dimensional time-of-flight MR angiography (2D TOF MRA) was performed simultaneously in three patients. Whereas shunting blood and the normal cavernous sinus were of high intensity, presumed thrombosed cavernous sinuses were isointense with stationary brain tissue. SE imaging can confirm the resolution of arteriovenous shunts, but poorly delineates ver acute and chronic thrombosis of the draining veins. In contrast, 2D TOF MRA directly demonstrates flowing blood, permitting the diagnosis of venous thrombosis; it should be included in follow-up of a dural AVM involving the cavernous sinus when venous thrombosis is suspected.