Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Presenting as Trigeminal Neuralgia: 2 Case Reports and Review of the Literature

Erik C. Brown, Pavlos Texakalidis, Brittany Stedelin, Muhibullah S. Tora, Rima S. Rindler, Jonathan A. Grossberg, Ryan B. Peterson, Melissa Campbell, Justin S. Cetas, Nicholas M. Boulis, Ahmed M. Raslan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Dural arteriovenous fistulae (dAVFs) can sporadically compress the root entry zone of the trigeminal nerve or the Gasserian ganglion and therefore be a rare cause of isolated or complicated trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Case Description: We describe 2 cases of TN related to dAVF treated similarly with transarterial embolization but with divergent outcomes. Further, we completed a comprehensive literature review of previously reported cases to date. A sparse but growing literature with regards to this specific and rare but salient cause of TN was noted. The type of dAVF most commonly found to cause TN was that of a tentorial nidus, a lesion generally accepted to be at high risk of hemorrhage and in need of urgent treatment. This warrants imaging for new TN presentations to ensure that a dangerous lesion does not represent the underlying cause, especially when the TN symptoms are comorbid with other symptoms such as a bruit. Treatments pursued span the range of open surgery, endovascular treatment, and radiosurgery with great success in treating both the TN symptoms, as well as the rupture risk of the dAVF itself in most cases. Indeed, endovascular approaches are becoming more widely employed for these cases over time, often resolving the abnormality on first treatment attempt. Other cases reach resolution after employing a combination of treatment modalities. Conclusions: This work highlights that dAVFs, particularly the tentorial type, are capable of causing TN symptomatically identical to that of other etiologies and that treatment of the dAVF itself is often sufficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-308
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Arteriovenous fistula
  • Embolization
  • Onyx
  • Tentorial
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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